Speaking at the Financial Regulation Summit in Washington DC, White warned the industry that their policies and procedures were not up to scratch and without them they faced the same fate as the Bangladeshi bank that recently lost $81m through a cyber attack.

"As we go out there now, we are pointing that out."

The SEC is "very pro-active" in assessing how open those acting in the financial sector are to a cyberattack, she said, adding: "we can't do enough in this sector."

She noted that companies are increasingly using non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles GAAP to report their figures – an approach which enables them to keep what can be very large expenses out of public reporting.

She also warned that the SEC was closely watching "fintech" – startups targeting the financial markets – name-checking in particular blockchain, automated investment advice and marketplace lending.

It's not known whether the new crowdfunding rules will help revive the many startups across the country – but particularly in and around Silicon Valley – who are struggling to find funding through VC routes, or whether the rules will just sit on the books awaiting the next tech boom.

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