After three years of raking in multi-billions in fines, the Securities and Exchange Commission collected just $1.6 billion in penalties in the year ending September 30. It’s the lowest amount since 2002 (when fines totaled $1.4 billion); it’s also the same year Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley.
The fall in fines comes after complaints from Republican commissioners and business groups that say the penalties hurt investors, according to a Bloomberg report. Meanwhile, Democrats say the heavy fines deter fraud.
The SEC’s sanctions increased 40 percent after Sarbanes-Oxley was implemented, according to the agency’s data. Click here to read the full Bloomberg story.