Retail Investors Again Top OCIE Exam Priorities in 2019; Digital Assets Join List

The SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) recently issued its 2019 Examination Priorities. All five of last year’s priorities – i.e., retail investors; critical market infrastructure; FINRA and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board; cybersecurity; and anti-money laundering – remain priorities this year, with digital assets added as a sixth priority. In the press release announcing the priorities, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton observed, “OCIE continues to thoughtfully approach its examination program, leveraging technology and the SEC staff’s industry expertise. As these examination priorities show, OCIE will maintain its focus on critical market infrastructure and Main Street investors in 2019.” This article analyzes the 2019 priorities and the accompanying message from OCIE leadership. See also our coverage of OCIE’s 2018 Examination Priorities; 2017 Examination Priorities; and 2016 Examination Priorities.

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