Funding must be increased for the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to implement critical consumer protections and boost investor confidence, according to the Financial Planning Coalition.

The FPC, which represents 75,000 financial professionals throughout the U.S., sent a letter to majority and minority leaders in both the House and the Senate, urging them to increase the SEC's budget. The coalition noted that doing so would not place additional burdens on taxpayers, as the SEC is funded entirely through fees assessed on those whom it regulates.

The FPC argued that in the wake of the recent financial collapse and the Madoff scandal, it is more important than ever to regulate the markets and restore investor confidence. Not increasing the agency's budget, or decreasing it, would seriously hinder its ability to regulate the market and prevent further episodes of fraud and abuse, the FPC wrote.

"Level or reduced appropriations would jeopardize the agency's ability to adequately police the securities markets and leave investors vulnerable to unscrupulous individuals engaged in financial scams and fraud," the letter stated.

The FPC concluded with a plea to provide the SEC with the tools it needs to protect the most vulnerable of investors-the nation's seniors.

The FPC is a collaboration of financial services professional organizations, including the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.