FINRA and the SEC each released their 2016 exam priority lists. FINRA’s list of priorities is focused on three broad themes: (1) culture, conflicts of interest and ethics; (2) supervision, risk management and controls; and (3) liquidity.
The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations list is generally a continuation of themes from last year:
• Protection for retail investors, generally and focusing on retirement savings;
• Assessing issues related to market-wide risks; and
• Maximizing its big data analytics to identify and inspect firms that may be engaged in illegal activity.
In addition, the SEC has added new priority areas to its agenda:
• Liquidity controls;
• Public Pension Advisers;
• Product Promotion;
• Exchange-traded funds; and
• Variable annuities.
Both FINRA and the SEC stated that they are continuing in their efforts to understand cybersecurity risks and examine brokers' and advisers' measures to deal with them.
Click http://xlo3.wpengine.com/pubs/xprPubDetail.aspx?xpST=PubDetail&pub=733 to access a Seward & Kissel Legal Alert about the exam priorities.