SEC Enforcement Actions Increased in 2015
On October 29th, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it filed 807 enforcement actions, and obtained orders of around $4.2 billion in disgorgement and penalties during fiscal 2015. This marks the third time in as many years SEC enforcement actions grew. More on the announcement is available on the Journal of Accountancy website.
SEC Committee and Chief Accountant at Odds over Materiality Proposals
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Investor Advisory Committee (“IAC”) is currently in a dispute with SEC Chief Accountant James Schnurr over the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) efforts to revise the definition of “materiality” under U.S. GAAP. The disagreement centers on the changes in Proposed Amendments to Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 2015-300, Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting Chapter 3: Qualitative Characteristics of Useful Financial Information, and Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. 2015-310, Notes to Financial Statements (Topic 235): Assessing Whether Disclosures Are Material. The updates call for companies to use the concept of materiality as a starting. Read More.
SEC Risk Alert and FAQs to Assist with Customer Sales of Securities
Serving as guidance for broker-dealers when involved with unregistered transactions on their customers’ behalf, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has issued a Risk Alert and accompanying FAQs. The Risk Alert discusses deficiencies identified by the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations during its review of 22 broker-dealers that engage in microcap securities sales. In addition, the Risk Alert is supplemented with FAQs regarding customer sales of securities. Published by the SEC Division of Trading and Markets, the FAQs remind broker-dealers the requirements for abiding by the exemption. For the Risk Alert news release , visit the SEC website. Also be. Read More.
SEC Proxy Voting Roundtable Set for Early 2015
As the debate heats up on which rules the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) should use for expanding or limiting a shareholder’s influence, the agency has decided to hold a public discussion on proxy voting issues. Scheduled for early next year, the roundtable marks the second time in recent memory the SEC has solicited feedback on the topic and will review the Investor Advisory Committee’s (“the Committee”) recommendation of updating proxy ballot rules. As part of its revised rules push, the Committee wants Rule 14a-4(d)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to permit the use of a universal proxy. Read More.
Investor Advisory Committee to Discuss Accredited Investor Definition
Preparing to revise the decades-old accredited investor definition in Rule 501 of Regulation D, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Investor Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) is scheduled to meet on Thursday, October 9th. The current definition, which has been in place for over 30 years, describes an individual, or such combined with a spouse, a net worth of $1 million or more. While current income thresholds are $200,000 (individual) and $300,000 (married couple), investors have called for a number adjustment to reflect inflation. The Committee previously discussed changes to the accredited investor definition in July, but couldn’t reach a decision. Read More.
Oxfam Claims SEC Not Moving Fast Enough on Payment Disclosure Rule
Accused of not acting quickly on a disclosure rule for oil and mining companies that make payments to governments as part of their business practices, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is being sued by Oxfam America Inc. Per its complaint filed last week, the international aid group says the agency should have issued a rule over three years ago and are violating the will of Congress, which called for the disclosure provision through the Dodd-Frank Act. Oxfam also stated that it is a shareholder in some of the companies that would be impacted by the SEC’s rule. In 2012,. Read More.