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SEC Commissioner: ‘Transparency, Accountability Central to Efforts in Financial Markets

bankThe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is shifting its focus toward greater transparency amid the rapid and significant technological innovations going on in our financial markets, while maintaining and instilling greater accountability.

SEC Commissioner Kara M. Stein addressed what lies ahead the agency's financial markets in 2016 in terms of transparency and accountability in a speech on Friday.

"More and more Americans are turning to the capital markets to purchase homes, send children to college, and save for retirement," Stein explained. "Our economy depends on these investors. And these investors depend on our economy."

More than on out of every two American are invested in the stock market. Stein noted in her speech that capital markets need to ensure that they are being transparent, investors are protected, and encourage innovation and capital formation.

"All investors, whether large or small, are entitled to a steady flow of timely, accurate, relevant, and reliable information in order to make investment decisions," Stein said. "Quality information matters. Quality disclosure matters. This is especially true given the growing complexity in our capital markets."

Stein continued, "Good regulatory oversight fosters and encourages transparency and accountability, while still fostering and encouraging innovation. We are at our best when we look back and learn, then look forward and act in a balanced and thoughtful manner to accomplish smart and effective outcomes. I think this holds true in so many of the questions we need to be asking and the work we need to get done in 2016."

The SEC recently announced  that it is cracking down on those involved directly with the financial reporting processes, which is causing a number of issues in the mortgage industry.

Andrew Ceresney, Director, Division of Enforcement recently spoke at the SEC'sDirectors Forum 2016 Keynote Address to highlight the importance of financial reporting misconduct and how the government agency plans to address this problem moving forward.

"The importance of aggressively pursuing financial reporting deficiencies cannot be overstated.  Comprehensive, accurate, and reliable financial reporting is the bedrock upon which our markets are based," Ceresney stated. "Materially false or incomplete financial reporting saps investor confidence and erodes the integrity of our markets.  The Commission is committed to holding accountable those whose actions prevent investors from receiving timely and reliable information that enables them to make informed investment decisions."

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