Legislation to Bolster Investment Adviser Examinations Garners Bipartisan Support
Former Chairman Spencer Bachus joins push to expand SEC’s oversight
Growing support for legislation that would provide the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the ability to expand its oversight of investment advisers today hit a bipartisan milestone.
Senior House Republican and former Chairman of the Financial Services Committee Rep. Spencer Bachus(R-AB) has thrown his support behind the measure, known as the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act (H.R. 1627). The legislation provides the SEC with the authority to impose and collect user fees on investment advisors in order to bolster its oversight program.
Authored by Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman John Delaney (D-MD), support for H.R. 1627 has surged in recent weeks. In addition to Bachus, today two additional Democrats on the Financial Services Committee, Reps. David Scott (D-GA) and Steven Horsford (D-NV), signed on as cosponsors to the measure, bringing the total number of cosponsors from the Financial Services Committee to 20.
Waters, top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, praised Bachus’ support and called on the House to approve the measure.
“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 advisers,” said Waters.
“The advisers support this legislation, investor advocates support this legislation, Democrats support this legislation, and now, so does my Republican colleague from Alabama, the former Chair of the Financial Services Committee. It is time that the House considers and passes this bill,” she added.
Pressure to support the measure is intensifying. Last week, Waters called on Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), to convene a hearing of the full Committee to consider various legislative proposals that would increase the levels of examinations of investment advisers. As of today, Hensarling has not responded to the request.
And earlier this week, she offered an amendment to a financial services spending bill consistent with H.R. 1627. Unfortunately, Republicans obstructed, objecting to the amendment, which was not afforded a vote.
Despite the toll the financial crisis took on public confidence in our financial markets, insufficient funding continues to undercut the SEC’s ability to oversee the 11,000 advisers that manage more than $50 trillion in assets. In fact, the agency examines these advisers on average only once every 12 years, and 40 percent of advisers have never been examined.