By Peter Schroeder - 06/10/13 09:44 PM EDT
While White said she was reviewing the SEC's policy, she also defended it in her response to Warren. She contended that existing policy provides a "very public measure of accountability," while allowing the SEC to quickly return funds to victims while preserving agency resources. She added that the SEC is "rigorous and methodical" in analyzing each settlement consideration, and contended that SEC settlements, even with no admissions of guilt, do carry a deterrent effect.
"Detailed factual allegations and findings [are] contained in our complaints, orders instituting proceedings, and settlement documents — factual allegations or findings that represent a virtual road map of the wrongdoing," she wrote.
She also added that oftentimes it is the financial institution or individual charged that will propose a settlement, and the SEC has been willing to pursue litigation in the past. All told, 70 percent of the 105 actions taken in the wake of the financial crisis began as litigation, according to White.