Are Exchanges In The SEC's Crosshairs?
Statements by certain United States Senators have indicated that they hope the SEC is cracking down on and scrutinizing the activities of the national securities exchanges and associations.
Such statements were made after the SEC's fine of $5 million fine against NYSE. The SEC had previously announced that the NYSE agreed to pay $5 million to settle claims over its alleged compliance failures in 2008 surrounding certain front-running allegations. The NYSE, of course, settled the SEC's charges without admitting or denying any wrongdoing, and indicated that it improved its systems with updated technology.
Initially, these senators complained that it was too low, but they did indicate this was a first step, and was important as a symbolic move. It was their belief more should come from the SEC in regulating securities exchanges and associations. Certain lawmakers have also indicated that this sanction may initiate a process where these national securities exchanges and associations may re-think their "for profit" models. Finally, one senator in particular has suggested that Congress should re-think the SEC's funding to allow it do more in this regard.
No one should hold their breadth waiting for more money from Congress, however, it will be interesting to see if the SEC follows up on this action with others over the next year.