SEC appoints CFA’s Director of Investor Protection while under fire for Ripple lawsuit on XRP

The SEC has been criticized for not listening to investors nor protecting their interests when it comes to its aggressive “regulation-by-enforcement” tactics.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed Barbara Roper as Senior Advisor to the Chair with a focus on retail investor protection, including policy, broker-dealer oversight, investment adviser oversight, and examinations.

Barbara Roper is currently the Director of Investor Protection for the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), where she has been working for 35 years as a leading consumer spokesperson on investor protection issues.

Her role at the CFA has helped to set the standards that apply to investment professionals investors rely on for advice and recommendations.

She has also conducted studies of the financial planning industry, state oversight of investment advisers, and state and federal financial planning regulation.

In the past, she played a critical role in raising the alarm for the need for audit reform in the wake of the Enron scandal, the need for mutual fund reform in the wake of trading and sales abuse scandals, the information preferences of mutual fund shareholders, the potential of the Internet to improve disclosure, and securities law weaknesses as a cause of the financial crisis.

She is no stranger to the Securities and Exchange Commission, having served on numerous advisory committees at the agency as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other entities.

“Barb is a champion for investors and will provide invaluable counsel on behalf of the American public. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with her on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the critical market reforms of the Dodd-Frank Act, and I’m thrilled to collaborate with her again at the SEC”, said SEC Chair Gary Gensler

“I’m excited to join the SEC and Chair Gensler’s leadership team. I’ve dedicated my career to ensuring that our capital markets work for the average investor. With investor protection at the core of the SEC’s mission, I’m looking forward to bringing that same focus on the needs of individual investors to my work for the SEC”, said Barbara Roper, Senior Advisor to the SEC Chair.

The SEC has been criticized for not listening to investors nor protecting their interests when it comes to its aggressive “regulation-by-enforcement” tactics.

Its most recent controversial enforcement action relates to the complaint filed against Ripple and its individual defendants for an alleged unregistered securities offering.

Not only it has been debatable if there was enough fair notice and if XRP can really be considered a security, but the enforcement action in itself has caused severe stress for XRP investors, who are unable to buy or sell the digital asset on US-based exchanges for the time being.

John Deaton, attorney for the XRP holders, has come forward stating the SEC is targeting them: “The absence of any protections granted or expressed for holders of XRP in the SEC’s complaint against Ripple was deliberate. If they wanted to reassure the millions of XRP holders, they would have done so at the beginning”.

“I have said from day one, I am not an expert in crypto nor a securities lawyer, but it doesn’t take an expert to see that plenty is very wrong, very corrupt and very outrageous about the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple. I hope that clarity is on the horizon, but I fear that for the retail holders represented in our case the fight has just begun.”

Lack of clarity has become such an elephant in the room that even Mark Cuban addressed the issue earlier this week.

The XRP community has been accusing the SEC of corruption for its handling of the digital asset space and Ripple in particular. That view has gained a significant backer last week as a high-profile watchdog has decided to investigate potential conflict of interest.

SEC v. Ripple: Find here the daily updates to the XRP lawsuit