SEC’s Schapiro says agency making leaps to close technology gap

March 20 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is updating the technology it uses to understand operations at the financial firms it regulates and to catch wrongdoing, said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.

“We’ve begun to migrate our technology infrastructure into the current decade,” Schapiro said in remarks prepared for a Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association event today in Miami Beach, Florida. The SEC, she said, has been behind other regulators in use of technology that may help the agency analyze and search the information it gathers so that “malefactors will find themselves trapped by more comprehensive investigations.”

The SEC has also been working on a wide range of technology upgrades to core areas, Schapiro said, such as the EDGAR financial filing system used by all U.S.-listed companies, the agency’s website and in the way it takes in and evaluates enforcement tips. She said the agency is putting its latest budget increase into new data-driven models will help the agency target its investigations and exams.

Shapiro, who often says some large firms her agency monitors spend more on technology than the SEC’s budget, told House lawmakers at a March 6 budget hearing that she intended to build “a data warehouse that is the single gold source of information from all SEC systems, which then different applications can pull data out of so that we don’t replicate.”

Bloomberg News

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