Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham on Chief Compliance Officer Liability

November 21, 2023

This consent order related to Binance is the first time that the CFTC is charging a compliance officer with individual liability.

Although this is a first for the CFTC, the SEC has imposed individual liability on a compliance officer in certain specific and limited circumstances involving egregious personal conduct.  Accordingly, I find it very fitting to quote SEC Commissioner Peirce who stated, “The SEC’s determinations about whether to charge a compliance officer are consequential not only for the particular compliance officer, but more generally for the profession.”[1]  I believe that the alleged facts involving egregious personal conduct demonstrate that the defendant employee was “compliance in name only.”  I also believe that these charges emphasize the critical necessity of having a robust compliance program that is adequately resourced with personnel that have the requisite character, expertise, and experience.  I support sending this strong message to the crypto asset sector, which has all too often demonstrated material weaknesses in both their compliance programs and their risk management programs.

[1] Statement of SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce, “Chief Compliance Officer Liability: Statement on In the Matter of Hamilton Investment Counsel LLC and Jeffrey Kirkpatrick” (July 1, 2022), available at