Mutual fund firms, even in their worst period, are not taking their problems as seriously as they should, a Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement officer fears, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The evidence? Linda Thomsen, an SEC deputy director of enforcement, says no mutual fund company has called the SEC to discuss how to correct the industry’s problems for next time.

"Fixing yesterday’s problems is good, but if you haven’t thought about catching tomorrow’s problem you’re just going to go from blowup to blowup," Thomsen told the newspaper.

The SEC said that unlike fund shops, many Wall Street brokers have in fact called the office to discuss pre-emptive ways to fix problems. The SEC has said that companies who understand the phrase "mea culpa" would be given less strict punishment than the ones caught out of the blue.

But Steven Fuller, a partner at the lawfirm Nixon Peabody, represents some fund firms under investigation and said that leniency has not been offered for companies that come forward. No lighter fines have been offered, so he asked, "Why would you find the problem, then go to the SEC… so they can fine and sanction you?"

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