SEC Committee Statement Details Shortcomings in Form CRS Compliance

The SEC has been gradually ramping up its scrutiny of compliance with new Form CRS, which requires investment advisers and broker-dealers with retail clients to provide plain-English disclosures to those clients about the critical terms of the firm-client relationship. In 2021, it settled multiple enforcement actions concerning the form’s delivery and filing requirements. It has also been turning its attention to the substance of those filings. For example, the SEC’s Division of Examinations and FINRA have been examining registrants to assess their compliance with the formatting and substantive requirements of Form CRS. In addition, the SEC’s Standards of Conduct Implementation Committee (Committee) recently issued a statement on the implementation of Form CRS by SEC‑registered investment advisers and broker-dealers. The Committee found that many forms are deficient with respect to formatting and posting; meeting substantive disclosure requirements; or both. This article explores the Committee’s findings. See “SEC Resolves Enforcement Proceedings Over Late Filing and Delivery of Form CRS” (Sep. 16, 2021); as well as our two-part coverage of risk alerts on Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS: “What to Expect in Future Exams” (May 28, 2020); and “Key Takeaways for Broker-Dealers and Advisers” (Jun. 4, 2020).

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