Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White told the House Subcommittee on Appropriations Tuesday that the agency’s $1.67 billion budget request for FY 2014 would help the agency fulfill one of its top priorities: to add 250 examiners for advisors.
White told lawmakers that the 250 examiners would increase the proportion of advisors examined each year, the rate of first-time examinations, and the examination coverage of investment advisors and newly registered private fund advisors.
Fulfilling this goal, “would be an important step in a multiyear effort to increase coverage by our examination program to meet our regulatory responsibilities to investors who increasingly turn to investment advisers for assistance navigating the securities markets and investing for retirement and family needs,” White told lawmakers.
While Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee, reiterated that the SEC should not just get “thrown” additional funds considering its failures in catching the Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford Ponzi schemes, White defended the SEC’s budget request, saying it was “essential to get the funding or we won’t be able to do our job.”
Crenshaw went on to note that since 2001, the SEC’s budget has increased by 300 percent. “Most agencies don’t get this kind of increase each year,” he said to White. “How do you think the average investor has benefited from these large increases?”
White responded that during her few weeks on the job she has “been struck by how vast, difficult and complex” the agency’s responsibilities are, and that the agency needs additional funding to keep up with the ever-changing markets and the SEC’s increased responsibilities under Dodd-Frank. She added that she would be a “faithful steward” of the additional funds.
The $1.674 billion budget request under President Barack Obama’s budget is a 27 percent increase, or $353 million, over the $1.321 billion provided by the continuing resolution (CR) the SEC was operating under this year.