SEC and CFTC Continue to Penalize Firms for Electronic Communications Recordkeeping Violations

Since 2021, the SEC and CFTC have imposed approximately $2 billion in aggregate penalties on more than a dozen registered firms for failure to preserve records of business-related communications, particularly those made on unapproved devices or apps. The agencies continue to target such violations, recently resolving four parallel enforcement proceedings against the U.S. broker-dealer, swap dealer and futures commission merchant arms of two banks based on the firms’ failures to preserve records of electronic communications and associated supervisory failures. As in all of the other recent recordkeeping resolutions, each respondent has admitted the facts alleged in the respective settlement orders and acknowledged that it violated the federal securities laws. Notably, the respondents self-reported their violations to the SEC, took prompt remedial action and provided substantial cooperation to the agency, which is reflected in the relatively low penalties imposed. This article parses the four settlement orders. See “SEC Remains Focused on Off-Channel Communications” (May 11, 2023).

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