Rep. Maxine Waters’ user-fees bill is gaining traction in the House.
Former House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., agreed Thursday to co-sponsor H.R. 1627, the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act of 2013, which would allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to collect user fees from advisors to help boost the number of advisor exams.
Waters’ bill has been languishing in the House with no Republican support since she reintroduced it last April.
Two additional Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee, David Scott, D-Ga., and Steven Horsford, D-Nev., also signed on as co-sponsors the same day, bringing the total number of co-sponsors from the committee to 20.
Waters, D-Calif., the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, said in a Thursday statement that “In the past, Mr. Bachus and I have worked closely on the issue of international debt relief benefiting the most vulnerable. Today, we are working together to protect the savings of hardworking Americans, in strong agreement that the SEC needs to police those who provide investment advice more often. And the best way to do so is by funding those additional exams through fees on these advisors.”
Bachus is now chairman emeritus of the House Financial Services Committee. He said in a Thursday statement that considering the widespread acknowledgment after the Bernie Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford scandals “that the oversight of financial advisors needed to be improved,” and improving advisor exams “would serve to benefit the good actors in the industry, who by far are the overwhelming majority, and help to enhance investor confidence. There have been various proposals to conduct more frequent examinations, but the important thing is to have a better system to stop potential fraud.”
The fees assessed on advisors under Waters’ bill would be dedicated to adding staff to the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.
On July 11, Waters called on Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to convene a hearing of the full committee to consider various legislative proposals that would increase the levels of advisor exams.