Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White warned Congress Tuesday that refusing to give the regulator more money would subject investors to much more risk.
“(The SEC) is a significantly under-resourced agency,” sher told a unit of the House Appropriations Committee.
President Obama is seeking $1.781 billion for the SEC for the 2017 fiscal year beginning October 1, an increase of 11 percent.
If the entire increase is approved by Congress (which it has never been while the House and the Senate have been in Republican control), an additional 105 examiners would be hired for investment advisor duty.
“The need for significant additional resources to permit the agency to increase its examination coverage of registered investment advisers and investment companies cannot be overstated,” White said.
She noted assets under management by SEC-registered advisors increased to $66.8 trillion in 2015 from $21.5 billion in 2001.
As the agency takes examiners from broker-dealer to investment advisor responsibility to increase advisor exams to more than 10 percent a year, White said the SEC needs to up its oversight of FINRA, which is taking an increasing amount of responsibility for brokers.
On another topic, White said the use of new and complex financial products by investment advisors and broker dealers is increasing challenges for examiners.
She called the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis one of the great success stories of the SEC.
“You cannot overstate its importance in good rule making,” Chair White said.