Fraud allegations and failed deals over private placements connected to issuers like Medical Capital Holdings have sullied the reputation of countless broker/dealers this year. Some have closed up shop entirely, while others, like Securities America, are the subject of arbitration claims and lawsuits by investors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) now has plans to beef up regulatory oversight of broker/dealers in an attempt to hold them more accountable for their customers’ assets. As reported Dec. 6 by Investment News, the SEC’s efforts would bring in the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to inspect auditors of all broker/dealers.
The accounting industry will play a crucial role in helping investors regain confidence in the wake of [Bernie] Madoff’s scheme and the 2008 financial crisis, said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro in a Dec. 6 speech at an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants conference in Washington.
“We will consider increasing surveillance of brokerages in custody by providing information and tools for new examiners regulation,” Schapiro at the conference. “Our markets depend on confident investors – and our efforts will succeed only if those investors believe the numbers that you write on the bottom line.”