Internal compliance controls at firms regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission will get more scrutiny this year, enforcement director Andrew Ceresney said Thursday at a Corporate Counsel Institute conference in Washington.
“We are very focused on internal controls. I think you will find we are active in this area in the coming months,” Mr. Ceresney said.
The SEC will also pursue more enforcement actions under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials for business, Mr. Ceresney said, noting that the agency has already brought more FCPA cases in the first five months of fiscal year 2015 than it did in all of fiscal year 2014. He also expects a wider variety of insider-trading cases, now that the agency has built up in-house analytic capabilities, instead of having to rely on cases brought by self-regulatory organizations.
“Now we are able to build cases on our own. This is exciting for us,” he said.
Mr. Ceresney defended his division's use of administrative proceedings instead of bringing court cases because they offer “a streamlined process.” The SEC will seek admissions of guilt in cases where “it will add a level of accountability.”
Aitan Goelman, Commodities Futures Trading Commission enforcement director, said at the same conference that his agency's priorities include benchmark and foreign-exchange manipulation cases.