A bill that would allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to impose fees on financial advisors for more examinations faces dim prospects in the House of Representatives, said the bill’s sponsor, Maxine Waters, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, speaking to Financial Advisor magazine Thursday.
“No Democratic bills have been heard in the committee this year,” the veteran rep from California said.
Waters introduced the same bill last year and it did not receieve a hearing.
The House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee would be the logical place for the legislation to emerge for initial consideration. But the subcommittee’s chairman, Republican Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, said a hearing has not been scheduled on the bill and he hasn’t seen it. He generally doesn’t support additional fees.
It also seems unlikely that the SEC will receive additional money from Congress for advisor exams through its annual budget.
President Obama has asked for a 33 percent increase in the agency’s spending for the 2014 fiscal year, beginning October 1. The president’s proposal would add 250 investment advisor examiners to the SEC.
However, the chairman of the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee, Ander Crenshaw (R., Fla.), said he is against giving the SEC more money.
Last year, the commission examined 8 percent of investment advisors. Forty percent of federally registered advisors have never been examined.
SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said that increasing the frequency of exams and reviewing more advisors were essential for investor protection.
At a full Financial Services Committee hearing Thursday, she said that the SEC filed 147 actions against investment advisors in fiscal 2012, the most ever in a single year.