Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on SEC Oversight
Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs met for a hearing entitled “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission” (SEC). The SEC’s mission is to maintain efficient markets, facilitate capital formation, and protect investors.
In Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) opening statement, he commended SEC Chairman Jay Clayton for the work the committee has done in the past year. He also mentioned the SEC’s “final rule package on Regulation Best Interest, which strikes the appropriate balance of increasing transparency in investors’ relationships, while preserving access to advice relationships and investment products.”
Crapo also noted that the SEC has attempted to provide relief for smaller reporting companies by proposing a modification to the accelerated filer definition; this would decrease registrants that must undergo the auditor attestation requirement. They have sought public comments for the betterment of private securities, small businesses, and the proxy voting process.
“This Committee has held a number of hearings during my chairmanship discussing the need for assessing the scope and appropriateness of the proxy voting process and other aspects of corporate governance,” Crapo said. “I commend the Commission for its actions related to the proxy process.”
At the end of his remarks, Crapo raised the SEC’s modernization efforts over the course of the year.
“Finally, the SEC has made modernization a focus this year, and I look forward to hearing about your Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology and how the SEC has been engaging with initial coin offerings and other cryptocurrency-related matters,” he said, “I look forward to receiving updates on these and other SEC initiatives, including your views on when we can expect final rules in these areas.”