Kara Stein, the Democratic commissioner of the SEC, called Thursday for her colleagues to require investment companies to be more transparent about their securities lending practices—including the percentage of assets out on loan.
Companies such as insurers and mutual funds lend out their securities for cash to brokerages, a contributor to what some call the “shadow banking” system.
Stein also advocated requiring issuers to reveal how much they rely on short-term funding for long-term obligations. Mismatches of the two helped lead to the financial crisis, she noted.
“Improving these disclosures could help investors make smarter choices,” Stein told the spring meeting of the Council of Institutional Investors in Washington, D.C.
In another call for greater transparency, she said companies such as brokerages have to make their operations clearer to those submitting orders to make sure they are truly getting the best prices for their customers.
“Fiduciaries seeking to execute orders for their customers should know what happens to their orders,” she said, “and they should understand how that impacts the pricing and timing of their executions.”