General Electric has set aside $100 million relating to a potential Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement action that could encompass several areas of alleged accounting failures.
GE says it has been cooperating with an SEC investigation into legacy matters related to long-term service agreements, GE Capital’s run-off insurance operations, and a 2018 goodwill impairment charge related to GE’s Power business. “We have recorded a reserve of $100 million as of September 30, 2020, related to the investigation in its entirety, encompassing all matters that are under investigation,” GE said in its third-quarter filing released Wednesday.
GE revealed in 2018 that it was being investigated by the SEC over its accounting practices after a $6.2 billion charge in late 2017 stemming from its GE Capital insurance portfolio. Last month, SEC staff issued a “Wells Notice” in connection with the portion of its ongoing investigation related to GE Capital’s run-off insurance operations. A Wells Notice indicates SEC staff have made a preliminary determination suggesting enforcement action against an entity or individual; it is not a formal charge, nor does it represent a final determination.
GE said in a related fling that it “disagrees with the SEC staff with respect to this recommendation and will provide a response through the Wells Notice process.”
The Wells Notice received in September related solely to the GE Capital insurance matter and did not address SEC probes into a $22 billion impairment charge to goodwill and the company’s revenue recognition practices. “The staff has not made a preliminary decision whether to recommend any action with respect to the other matters under investigation,” GE said at the time.