SEC conduct ethics review of employees stock

SEC Building

Securities and Exchange Commission attorneys are reviewing the stock holdings of about 3,400 employees after some New York staffers were found to own securities prohibited by ethics rules.

Bloomberg reports that the agency’s ethics office has begun an examination of all personal financial disclosures to ensure that employees don’t have a financial interest in companies they regulate or investigate, SEC ethics counsel Shira Pavis Minton said in an interview.

The ethics review raises questions about the effectiveness of SEC programs for ensuring compliance with its trading rules, which bar workers from owning shares of most Wall Street firms, including Bank of America and BlackRock The agency relies on employees to disclose their investments and doesn’t have a tool to automatically scan employee holdings for violations.

'Given the extensive nature of the SEC’s restrictions on stock ownership that go well beyond government requirements, it only makes sense to help staff comply', Minton said. 'Having an extra set of eyes on these filings is a proactive way to help staff ensure the forms are completed correctly'.

The ethics office’s review isn’t considered an investigation, Minton said. The ethics attorneys advise SEC employees on how to follow internal rules with the goal of preventing conflicts of interest; investigations of violations are handled by the SEC Inspector General.

To access the complete Bloomberg article hit the link below:

Banned Stocks Held by SEC Employees Trigger Agency Ethics Review

Big Banks Face Sharper Risk-Management Focus in OCC Plan 

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