Senate Democrats seek probe of SEC comments to Citigroup on guns

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats on Wednesday asked the Securities and Exchange Commissiona��s inspector general to investigate reports that Commissioner Michael Piwowar linked possible regulatory action to Citigroupa��s policy on gun sales.

Michael Piwowar, Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, speaks at the Milken Institute 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. April 30, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Citigroup in March added restrictions on firearms sales for new retail-sector clients after a mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, drawing the ire of the U.S. gun lobby.

a�?Recent news reports indicate that the Commissioner a�?castigat[ed] them for straying into social policya�� while a�?glowering and speaking emphaticallya�� about guns,a�? the senators said in the letter.

a�?Most concerning are reports that Commissioner Piwowar delivered a a�?thinly veiled threata�� by zestoretic online thesaurus suggesting that the Commission would withhold support for Citigroupa��s regulatory request due to the companya��s unrelated and entirely lawful corporate practices relating to firearms.a�?

Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama