SEC FY2023 Enforcement Results Released

In November, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released its Enforcement results for the fiscal year 2023. According to the release, the Commission filed 784 total enforcement actions in fiscal year 2023, a 3 percent increase over fiscal year 2022, including 501 original, or “stand-alone,” enforcement actions, an 8 percent increase over the prior fiscal year. The SEC brought numerous enforcement actions addressing “conduct that undermines oversight of the securities industry, including actions to protect whistleblowers and actions to enforce recordkeeping requirements and other investor protection requirements applicable to industry participants, including broker-dealers and investment firms.” Chair Gary Gensler noted “Last fiscal year’s results demonstrate yet again the Division’s effectiveness—working alongside colleagues throughout the agency—in following the facts and the law wherever they lead to hold wrongdoers accountable.” According to the release, “the SEC obtained orders for $4.949 billion in financial remedies, the second highest amount in SEC history, after the record-setting financial remedies ordered in fiscal year 2022.” The release highlighted the Commission’s settlements with twenty-five advisory firms, broker-dealers, and/or credit rating agencies, including Wells Fargo, HSBC, and Scotia Capital, which agreed to pay “combined civil penalties totaling more than $400 million to settle charges that they violated the recordkeeping requirements of the federal securities laws.” The release also noted that the Commission “rewarded cooperation in cases against public issuers, private companies, and advisory firms, in matters involving a range of violations, such as material misstatements, recordkeeping violations, undisclosed perquisites, and violations of whistleblower protection rules.” The release breaks down enforcement actions in specific areas including digital assets, cybersecurity, and ESG, highlighting settlements with a Deutsche Bank subsidiary and Goldman Sachs Asset Management for ESG disclosure failures.

Click here to read the SEC press release announcing the Enforcement results.