The House Appropriations Committee has delayed for one week voting on its short-term continuing resolution, which would fund the government until Dec. 11 and keep the Securities and Exchange Commission’s funding at its current level.
House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers said in published reports that he hoped the vote on the bill, which would keep the SEC’s budget at $1.35 billion, would be held in “one week.” The delay in the vote, which was scheduled for Thursday, will give members of Congress time to agree on whether to include the Obama administration-requested language in the bill to aid Syrian rebels against terrorist insurgents operating under the name of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
House Republican leaders have signaled their willingness to back President Barack Obama’s request.
But SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White told members of the Senate Banking Committee in her prepared remarks Monday that the House budget would not be sufficient to address “the immediate and pressing need for significant resources” to boost advisor exams.
She reiterated the SEC’s 9% RIA exam rate in fiscal 2013, noting again that in 2004 the SEC had 19 examiners per trillion dollars in investment advisor assets under management while today the agency has only eight. “Additional resources are vital to increase exam coverage over investment advisors and other key areas, and also to bolster our core investigative, litigation, and analytical enforcement functions,” White said in her remarks.
Given the agency’s new responsibilities under the Dodd-Frank and JOBS acts, White continued, “we need additional staff experts to focus on enforcement, examinations and regulatory oversight. We must strengthen our ability to take in, organize, and analyze data on the new markets and entities under the agency’s jurisdiction,” she said, noting that under Dodd-Frank the number of SEC-registered private fund advisors has increased by more than 50% to 4,322 advisors.
“Even after accounting for the shift of mid-sized advisors to state registration pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the total amount of assets managed by SEC-registered advisors has increased significantly from $43.8 trillion in April 2011 to $62.3 trillion in August 2014, while the total number of SEC-registered advisors has remained relatively unchanged from 11,505 to 11,405.”
The new responsibilities, she said, “cannot be handled appropriately with the agency’s existing resource levels without undermining the agency’s other core duties, particularly as we turn from rule writing to implementation and enforcement of those rules.”
Check out SEC User Fees the Answer to Exam Budget Crunch: Investor Advocate on ThinkAdvisor.