SEC Warns Firms to Up Their COVID-19 Compliance Games
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations has issued a Risk Alert warning investment advisers and broker-dealers to enhance compliance practices to respond to COVID-19. OCIE wants firms to re-consider its policies and procedures around custody, supervision, fees, fraud, business continuity and the protection of customer information. OCIE advises firms to fully disclose delays in mail and transaction processing; enhance identity verification; implement remote supervision systems; monitor potential over-reaching to collect higher fees; secure servers and vacated office buildings; and ensure the safety of videoconferencing.
There is not a lot of new information in this Risk Alert that the SEC and others have not already highlighted. Our firm has a resource for COVID-19 regulatory issues, and we have also previously published our 10 Most Significant Compliance Concerns Arising From a Severe and Sudden Market Disruption. Compli-pros should be ready to answer COVID-19 related regulatory question during exams.