Breaking the Silence: SEC Unveils Record-Breaking $18 Million Whistleblower Award and Fee Rate Advisory for FY 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has made two significant announcements recently, indicating its ongoing commitment to a transparent and accountable financial market.

Registration Fee Rate Hike for Fiscal Year 2024

The SEC unveiled the fee rates for fiscal year 2024. Effective from October 1, public companies and other issuers will experience an increase in the fees they pay to register their securities with the Commission. The rate will jump from the current $110.20 per million dollars to $147.60 per million dollars. This will impact:

  • The registration of securities under Section 6(b) of the Securities Act of 1933.
  • The repurchase of securities under Section 13(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Proxy solicitations and statements in corporate control transactions under Section 14(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

These annual adjustments are mandated by securities laws and are designed to ensure that fee collections meet the annual statutory target amounts. The Commission’s method to establish these rates stems from consultations with the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget. The target amount for fiscal year 2024 is set at $839,771,535, adjusted from the fiscal year 2023 amount of $815,557,629 to account for inflation. Any further updates regarding the fee rates will be published on the SEC’s official website.

Whistleblower Awarded Over $18 Million

In a move that underscores the SEC’s commitment to upholding justice and encouraging whistleblowers, an award of more than $18 million was granted to an individual. This whistleblower’s invaluable information and assistance directly led to a successful SEC enforcement action.

The whistleblower, after reporting misconduct internally, brought the matter to the attention of the Commission, triggering an official investigation. The continued cooperation and critical information provided by this individual saved the SEC significant time and resources. Creola Kelly, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, emphasized the pivotal role whistleblowers play in highlighting misconduct and ensuring securities law violators face justice.

The award money comes from an investor protection fund created by Congress. This fund is solely financed through sanctions imposed on securities law violators, ensuring no money is taken or withheld from affected investors. Whistleblowers who willingly provide original, timely, and credible information that leads to successful enforcement actions can receive awards ranging from 10% to 30% of the collected amounts when sanctions exceed $1 million.

Protecting the identity of whistleblowers remains a top priority for the SEC, aligning with provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act.

For those interested in the whistleblower program or looking to report a tip, they can visit the SEC’s dedicated whistleblower site.

In summary, these announcements from the SEC highlight the Commission’s dual focus on financial transparency and the vital role of whistleblowers in maintaining market integrity.

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