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The Securities and Exchange Commission revealed yesterday that it has charged 37 broker-dealer firms with failure to file year 2000 disclosures by the Aug. 31 deadline. The National Association of Securities Dealers Regulation Inc., working with the SEC, has also brought actions against 59 of its member firms for filing late.
SEC fines for missing the filing deadlines range from $5,000 to $25,000. Settlements for a total of $235,000 in fines have been reached with 19 of the 37 firms charged by the SEC.
The broker-dealer year 2000 disclosure statements, which must be updated in April, are intended to keep the firms' customers aware of any potential problems and to help make sure the securities industry is not jeopardized. The broker-dealers must disclose the steps they've taken to address year 2000 compliance, including information about their remediation and contingency plans.
The SEC has made it clear that public companies other than brokerages that fail to provide timely and adequate year 2000 disclosures under the SEC's guidelines may also face enforcement actions, which some observers believe will be substantially more than the fines levied against the brokerages.
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