SEC: Yes, Banks WILL Still Be Able To ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ Wrongdoing

sec robert khuzami
Robert Khuzami

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The SEC issued a statement today that’s been jumped on by some outlets as a major policy change in how the agency settles complaints.Turns out, it’s mostly semantics.

In the statement, SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami said the SEC’s new policy will be to drop “neither confirm nor deny” language only when a defendant has already admitted guilt in a criminal case. NCND will remain in use for settlements involving civil liability.

“This policy change does not affect our traditional ‘neither admit nor deny’ approach in settlements that do not involve criminal convictions or admissions of criminal law violations,” he said.

The goal of the change is to eliminate confusion about the language applying to cases involving parallel criminal and civil complaints. Khuzami says it will apply only to a minority of cases, and will not affect the agency’s appeal of Judge Jed Rakoff’s November Citigroup decision.