Regulatory Penalties Down Two-Thirds Compared with Last Year

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Aug 7, 2017

Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the first half of 2017 were down nearly two-thirds compared with the first half of 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. So far, these regulators have leveled $489 million in fines. During the same time period last year, that number was $1.4 billion. This, in turn, is much smaller than same time the year before that, roughly $4.5 billion, and the year before that, a little more than $3 billion. The Journal said this could be an effect of the new administration, pointing out that each of the three agencies has changed its enforcement head over the past five months, and both the SEC and CFTC have new chairs. 

In the case of both the SEC and the CFTC, the new chairs have said they wish to pursue a more business-friendly agenda. In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, SEC Chair Clayton said that there will be no fundamental change to the commission's regulatory model, but said that the burdens of complying with current rules may play a factor in the sharp reduction in U.S. companies choosing to go public, which he said will have lasting effects on the economy and society. He has already loosened the requirements to be classified as an Emerging Growth Company (which exempts firms from many SOX audit requirements), for example. 

Meanwhile, the CFTC Chair J. Christopher Giancarlo, who made a speech before the Futures Industry Association, said that the agency must "right-size" its regulatory footprint, saying that "Washington politicians and bureaucrats have gotten in the way of [people's] ability to earn a living. They want the burdens removed so that they can build their dreams again." 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.