Securities Overview/Services

A description of Securities’s mission with links to key services

Securities Compliance Branch (SEC)

Licensing Section
The Hawaii Uniform Securities Act requires that all persons who propose to act as a broker-dealer, broker-dealer agent (sales representative), investment adviser, investment adviser representative or associated person be registered in this state with the Commissioner of Securities prior to engaging in such activities, unless exempted from registration. The Licensing Section is responsible for all phases of the Commissioner’s registration program, including the review of applications for registration.

Securities Registration Section
The Registration Section reviews proposed offerings of securities for sale in Hawaii. The Hawaii Franchise Investment Law requires the filing of franchise offering circulars of franchises in Hawaii pursuant to the Franchise Investment Law.

Examination Section
The Examination Section is responsible for conducting periodic field examination of broker-dealers and investment advisers registered in Hawaii to ensure that both the firm and their employees are in compliance with the Hawaii Uniform Securities Act. Examinations of books and recordsare used to determine whether there are any improprieties in the business conduct of broker-dealers and investment advisers. Findings of the Examination Section, where violations are detected, may be referred to the Securities Enforcement Branch for investigation and possible administrative and/or civil action.

If you have questions regarding registration of securities, broker-dealers, representatives or investment advisers, you may contact us at (808) 586-2722.

Securities Enforcement Branch (SEB)

The Securities Enforcement Branch conducts administrative investigations into alleged violations of the Hawaii Uniform Securities Act and the Hawaii Franchise Investment Law. The investigations may come to the attention of the Branch through complaints, inquiries, information received from other agencies and other sources. Most of the investigations by the Securities Enforcement Branch are conducted and prosecuted independently, but the Branch regularly cooperates with federal and local regulatory and law enforcement agencies.

The Branch prosecutes alleged violations in administrative and civil proceedings under these Acts. The Securities Enforcement Branch has the authority to issue administrative cease and desist orders to stop violations of the laws, to deny, suspend or revoke a license and may bar individuals from participating in the securities industry. The Branch may bring administrative or civil actions on behalf of the State of Hawaii to enjoin violations of the laws, and to obtain equitable remedies including rescission, restitution and penalties against the violators.

The Securities Enforcement Branch may also refer violations of the laws to the appropriate criminal agencies for criminal prosecution, such as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office or the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Enforcement Actions
The Securities Enforcement Branch brings administrative actions and enters into agreements and orders with individuals and entities each year. These actions, agreements and orders result in public records which are available for review at the Branch’s office. You may also contact our office to inquire about any individual or entity you are or may be dealing with to find out their licensing status and any disciplinary history that our office may have in that regard. The number to call for such information is (808) 586-2740. To report fraud call 58-SCAMS (587-2267) or toll free 1-877-HISCAMS (1-877-447-2267). Be aware that, our investigations are confidential, however, and the investigative information included in our files cannot be disclosed to the public.

Complaints or Questions
If you have any complaints concerning a securities transaction in which you were involved in Hawaii, please contact us for a complaint form at Securities Enforcement Branch, Business Registration Division, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, P.O. Box 40, Honolulu, Hawaii 96810. You may also view the Complaint Form Instructions on-line, to assist you in filling out your complaint form when you receive it.

Investor Education Program (IEP)

The Investor Education Program provides the public with free investor information and educational presentations.  Our topics range from the importance of saving for your future, investment product information, investing wisely, to how to protect yourself from financial frauds, scams, and schemes.

Educational Materials
Free investor education materials can be picked up from our office, mailed to you, or downloaded from our website.  We have available brochures, booklets, mini-guides, and our Financing You Future television series on DVD and VHS.

Educational Presentations
Free educational presentations are provided throughout the State to senior centers, schools, employers, and community groups.  A minimum number of attendees may be required.

Outreach Projects
The Investor Education Program is working on various outreach projects.
Hawaii Stock Market Simulation:  Partnership with the Hawaii Council on Economic Education that provides grades 3-12 the opportunity to participate in a 10-week stock market simulation at no cost.

Neighbor Island Outreach:  Information booths set up at various locations to increase awareness and visibility.

WebScams:  Intentional webscams that are used to educate consumers about the dangers of participating in “too good too be true” fraudulent scams and schemes.

Public Service Announcements:  Developing short television, radio, and movie theater commercials to educate the public and to increase awareness and program visibility.

Contact Us
for more information or to request educational materials or a presentation, please call (808) 587-7400 or mail your request to State of Hawaii, Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Investor Education Program, P. O. Box 40, Honolulu, Hawaii 96810.