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REGULATION/LEGISLATION

SEC sets marketwide risks, money market funds and cybersecurity as top examination priorities

People investing for their retirement and marketwide risks will continue to be a priority for its examiners in 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday.

As part of efforts to protect retail investors, the SEC said it will examine firms that do robo-advising and wrap fee programs that charge a single bundled fee for advisory and brokerage services.

Other priorities for the year ahead include electronic investment advice, money market funds, cybersecurity controls and preventing the financial exploitation of senior investors, the SEC said.

The priorities identify where officials see risk to investors, “so that registrants can evaluate their own compliance programs in these important areas and make necessary changes and enhancements,” said Marc Wyatt, director of the SEC’s office of compliance inspections and examinations, in a statement.

To protect retirement investment assets, the OCIE will continue to focus on public pension fund managers and expand its focus on seniors and investors saving for retirement. A broadened initiative will review investment advisers and brokers offering variable insurance products and managing target-date funds.

To address marketwide risks, the OCIE will focus on compliance with the SEC’s Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity, which establishes uniform requirements relating to the automated systems of market participants and utilities, and anti-money laundering rules, and how well money market funds are complying with amended rules that went into effect in October.

OCIE officials will also continue inspecting Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s operations and regulatory programs.

The OCIE priorities were developed in consultation with the commissioners, policy and enforcement divisions, regional offices, the investor advocate and other regulators.