Press Release

Morgan Lewis Year in Review Highlights Key SEC, FINRA Priorities and Developments in 2017

February 27, 2018

NEW YORK, February 27, 2018: Morgan Lewis has issued the 12th edition of its annual Year in Review: Select SEC and FINRA Developments and Enforcement Cases, a comprehensive summary and analysis of the practices, developments, considerations, and enforcement actions of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

The report, which was produced by the firm’s securities enforcement and litigation and investment management teams, reveals a year of significant personnel transition at the SEC, which may explain, at least in part, the 13% drop in total enforcement actions. According to the Year in Review, the SEC in 2017 has focused on the protection of retail or “Main Street” investors and on new technology that impacts products, regulation, and enforcement, while the agency also has been embroiled in at least two significant litigation matters that likely will affect how enforcement cases are brought and the potential relief available to the SEC in such instances.

For its part, FINRA saw a number of developments last year, including the launch of its 360 initiative aimed at examining the not-for-profit’s regulatory functions, use of technology and data, and the tools and metrics needed to evaluate the regulatory body’s outcomes and successes. In 2017, FINRA appointed a new head of the Department of Enforcement, consolidated some of its functions to achieve enforcement consistency, and revised its Sanctions Guidelines. FINRA also recently announced modifications to its approach to using fine monies.

These and more 2017 SEC and FINRA highlights, as well as analysis of their implications, can be found in the complete Year in Review: Select SEC and FINRA Developments and Enforcement Cases.