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The SEC's probe into Charles Schwab's robo-advisor is an early glimpse of the regulator's fintech crackdown

The SEC's probe into Charles Schwab's robo-advisor is an early glimpse of the regulator's fintech crackdown

Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler has pinpointed fintech as a priority for the regulator.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider




The SEC is investigating Charles Schwab's robo-advisor, the firm disclosed in a filing on Friday.




The probe, which appears to be the largest for a robo-advisor, underscores the SEC's priorities.




The disclosure may point to growing scrutiny around digital advice providers, experts say.




See more stories on Insider's business page.


Financial firms braced themselves this spring when the Senate confirmed regulatory veteran Gary Gensler as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors just caught a glimpse into one of his early priorities as the industry's top regulator: financial technology and the manifold ways tech is changing how people invest.The SEC is investigating Charles Schwab's robo-advisor, the investing giant said in a public filing on Friday. Schwab says the probe stems from a compliance examination and centers on disclosures related to its digital advisory product, which handles some $64 billion in assets as of March.Schwab said its second-quarter earnings results will show a $200 million charge related to the investigation. The company is cooperating with the SEC, and a Schwab spokesperson declined to comment beyond the filing. That cost appears to be the largest that a robo-advisor - the automated low- or no-cost investing tools that emerged after the financial crisis - has incurred over a public regulatory matter, experts say.
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