The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday it created three expert units to focus on big financial companies, complex securities and securities offerings.
The new offices within the division of corporate finance largely mirror the industries and products that played a key role in the financial meltdown that began more than two years ago.
“These changes will help us focus our resources more sharply on critically important institutions and financial products so we can stay ahead of the curve and better protect investors,” Meredith Cross, director of the SEC’s corporate finance unit, said in a statement.
The SEC is still battling criticism that it missed some major investment scams in recent years and that it failed to police investment banks at the heart of the financial crisis.
One unit will provide “enhanced reviews of large and financially significant companies,” including boosting the number of companies examined.
On Thursday, the SEC sealed a $550 million settlement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc , which it had accused of fraud in marketing a complex security. It also faces the task of implementing the massive financial overhaul bill, expected to be signed next week by President Barack Obama.
Another office will focus on asset-backed securities and other structured finance products, which many believe disconnected risk from ownership and contributed to the financial crisis.
A third division will look at trends in securities offerings and capital markets to make sure rules are keeping pace and working.
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