Fewer fundsters and RIAs faced the SEC's
wrath over the last year, a drop seen across other SEC enforcement areas, too.
Yesterday Stephanie Avakian
and Stevein Peikin
, Co-Directors of the SEC's Enforcement Division, released
their division's fiscal year 2017 annual report
. The enforcement division brought 82 enforcement actions related to investment advisors and investment companys (i.e. RIAs and mutual funds), down 16 percent from 98 actions in FY 2016. That compares to an overall standalone enforcement action drop of 19 percent, from 548 in FY 2016 to 446 in FY 2017.
Enforcement action count in FY 2017 also fell for broker-dealer, insider trading, public finance abuse, FCPA, and NRSRO cases. Yet issuer reporting/audit & accounting, securities offering, market manipulation, and transfer agent cases all rose.
The report also highlights four mutual fund industry cases as among the SEC's "Noteworthy Enforcements Actions" of FY 2017. Those cases include: Barclays Capital
paying more than $97 million in disgorgement and penalties over "improper advisory and mutual fund sales charges"; Morgan Stanley
paying $8 million over recommendations related to inverse ETFs; Pimco paying
nearly $20 million over misleading performance in its Total Return ETF; and SunTrust paying
a $1.1-million penalty and refunding "avoidable fees" from using the wrong share classes.
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