SEC’s Gensler Vows To Go ‘After Misconduct Wherever We Find It’

Gary Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the agency will be pursuing bad financial actors anywhere possible, CNBC reported.

Gensler, speaking at a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conference with FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook, said the idea is to go after those who are messing with savings of ordinary Americans, according to CNBC.

“At the SEC, we are focused on going after misconduct wherever we find it in the financial system,” he said, per CNBC. “That means holding individuals and companies accountable, without fear or favor, across the approximately $100 trillion capital markets we oversee.”

Gensler said enforcement will be an important part of the process, and the agency needs to do “whatever we can” to make sure bad actors don’t succeed, enforcing the rules with vehemence, CNBC reported.

Among the issues on which Gensler said he wants to focus are reaching out to the public on the marketing being used to peddle securities, particularly the “gamification” of trading, according to CNBC. He said he wants to examine the role the SEC has in working with the ways brokerages introduce gambling-style elements into the stock market.

Gensler also said he wants to look at market structure, especially the practice of brokers paying market makers for the routing of orders. That became an issue during the stock market frenzy in which GameStop and others were elevated. Gensler said he wants to look at how to make sure the market keeps order and remains efficient, CNBC reported.

Lastly, Gensler said he plans to examine the transparency surrounding short selling, stock lending, and securities-based swap rules, according to CNBC. He also said he wants to look more into asking about companies’ environmental and diversity practices.

In April, the SEC considered limits on special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which have seen robust growth in the past year. According to PYMNTS, the SEC is worried about SPACs being a risk for investors.