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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

U.S. SEC commissioners release public dissent on Oppenheimer waiver, (NYSE: OPY)

Two top U.S. regulators issued a scathing dissent on Wednesday blasting the Securities and Exchange Commission for granting Oppenheimer Holdings Inc a regulatory waiver despite the brokerage's history of repeat violations over anti-money laundering practices and other problems.SEC Democratic Commissioners Kara Stein and Luis Aguilars' joint statement comes roughly one week after subsidiary Oppenheimer & Co agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges by the SEC and the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network alleging it ignored red flags that helped pave the way for illegal penny stock sales.The commissioners said they were dismayed by the SEC's decision to grant a waiver that lets the brokerage continue doing certain private capital-raising deals because the waiver lacks adequate safeguards to ensure the firm is complying with the law.The waiver was granted, they said, based on assurances from Oppenheimer that it will hire a law firm to monitor its compliance, but there is nothing in writing to ensure the firm they hire is "qualified and independent."

Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. is an investment bank and full-service investment firm that provides financial services and advice to high net worth investors, individuals, businesses and institutions. Shares of OPY fell by 0.44% or $-0.09/share to $20.32. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $19.04 and as high as $29.91. On average, 26332 shares of OPY exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 20127.