December 13, 2018

SEC Co-Director of Enforcement touts importance of international cooperation

During remarks delivered at the Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems, SEC Co-Director of Enforcement Steven Peikin emphasized the importance of international cooperation to the SEC’s  mission of protecting  investor and market integrity due to the increasingly transnational nature of its investigations, particularly with respect to cryptoassets, bribery and corruption, and microcap fraud.  Co-Director Peikin reported that almost one-third of the SEC’s 817 enforcement actions in the last fiscal year involved an international component, and that the SEC’s Office of International Affairs processed more than 1,200 requests for administrative assistance made to foreign regulators and 650 requests received from foreign regulators.  He  lauded the assistance that the Commission received from more than 25 different jurisdictions in FCPA matters over the past two fiscal years, including to obtain witness statements, on-the-record testimony, and bank records and other documents, and he noted the importance of coordinated, global settlements to magnify the deterrent effect of enforcement matters.  The Co-Director also recognized several barriers to international cooperation, including data privacy, bank secrecy, and national security laws, noting in particular the challenges posed by the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which he believes has the potential to curtail the cooperative relationship between US and EU authorities.

SEC co-director speech