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SEC announces areas of focus for enforcement in 2016

Regulatory compliance is an important, ongoing task for business in order to avoid liabilities under federal and state law. For businesses in the financial industry, whether big or small, complying with regulations and rules put out by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is part of this process.

The SEC is responsible for enforcing federal securities laws and generally regulating the securities industry and stock and options exchanges. The SEC, in its work, is continually monitoring the industry as a whole, but it does also engage in targeted enforcement efforts. This year, according to the agency, the focus will be on liquidity controls, exchange-traded funds, variable annuities, public pension advisers and product promotion. Other areas of compliance the agency will focus on are cyber-security, fee selection, reverse churning and microcap fraud. 

The idea with these enforcement efforts is not only to protect investors and ensure the integrity of the markets, but also to promote improved compliance efforts within the financial industry. The Securities and Exchange Commission, like other federal agencies, does offer resources for companies looking to improve their compliance programs.

For instance, the Compliance Outreach Program provides a forum for businesses to dialogue about compliance issues and to share effective compliance practices. The Compliance Outreach Program involves different initiatives for different professionals within the financial industry.

For business looking to ensure effective compliance, navigating compliance matters can be a challenge, and the advice, guidance and advocacy of an experienced business law attorney is indispensible. Working with an experienced attorney can help ensure not only that compliance efforts are as effective as possible, but also that a business effectively deals with enforcement efforts coming from the SEC.

Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, "Compliance Outreach Program," Accessed Jan. 20, 2016.

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