You’re not paranoid. They are watching you…
Thinking much about regulatory compliance these days? Or are you kicking your compliance decisions down the road and postponing any decision to cover your firm’s assets and minimize exposures until you see which way the government winds blow?
You’ve probably got plenty of company sitting alongside you in compliance limbo, given the current administration’s focus on deregulation. Hard to make a decision when so much conflicting and contradictory news gets released every day about regulatory compliance and the financial services industry. But, ignoring the inevitable, that’s a…BIG MISTAKE!
What me worry?
Remember Mad Magazine? “What me worry?”was the mantra of fictional mascot Alfred E. Neuman, and, it appears, is the current philosophy of many broker-dealers, RIAs, FCMs, banks, and a host of companies and compliances professionals in our industry.
But, you should worry. Because just this week, President Donald Trump actually said aloud for the first time since taking offices that he was thinking about breaking up the nation’s biggest banks and for a brief moment, Wall Street stopped in its tracks. “I’m looking at that right now,” President Trump told Bloomberg News during an interview in the Oval Office. “There’s some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So, we’re going to look at that.”
If he’s serious, someone forgot to tell the Treasury Department. Because, while Bloomberg was interviewing the President, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was speaking at the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, and never mentioned breaking up banks. But word got out, and as soon as it did, conference attendees’ cell phones lit up with the news. Shares of bank stocks tumbled within seconds of the headline breaking but recovered their equilibrium shortly thereafter.
No matter who’s in charge, YOU are still a target!
Yup, you are! Just look at the numbers. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) 2017 budget is asking for more money and more people, including in its Enforcement and Compliance divisions. In 2017, the SEC seeks to add over 100 new full-time positions to Enforcement, and even more people to its Compliance Inspections and Examination team. They are coming. Are you ready?
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been busy this year too. In Patrina’s mid-April blog, “FINRA’s April showers bring floods of WSP fines and suspensions,” we reported that by April 15th, the Authority had already hit nearly one dozen firms with nearly $600K in fines and censures — and that was just for Written Supervisory Procedure (WSPs) failures alone!
Moreover, by mid-April, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) had already filed nine new enforcement actions against national banks, federal savings associations, and individuals currently and formerly affiliated with the aforementioned!
So what’s your compliance takeaway from all this activity? Presently, whether President Trump’s talk translates into action remains to be seen. But you should be prepared for more ugly headlines if lawmakers continue to pile on anti-Wall Street rhetoric. When it comes to compliance…
…President Trump isn’t going to save you.
The President, Congress, and the regulatory agencies are still targeting banks, broker-dealers, RIAs, and so on. You’ve got a bulls eye on your back. So be ready, because it’s clear that the current administration is not going to save you when the regulators come calling. But being compliant will. And Patrina is all about keeping you compliant.
We’re committed to ensuring you have the tools to manage regulatory compliance, reduce your firm’s reputational exposure, and avoid related financial consequences. Even if your compliance function is under pressure to do more with less, you do have options?