In 2012, Rep. Maxine Waters introduced legislation to authorize the SEC to assess user fees on investment advisors to fund SEC’s examinations. This was seen as an alternative to the legislation that Rep. Bachus introduced in 2012 that would have shifted investment advisor oversight from the SEC to a self-regulatory organization. Both failed in 2012 when they did not receive votes in the House Financial Services Committee before the end of the congressional session in December.
Now, Waters will re-introduce legislation that would authorize the SEC to assess user fees on investment advisors. On March 13, 2013, Waters said “we will be reintroducing that very shortly; it’s a matter of days…I consider that one of the important and meaningful bills I introduce.”
Waters is the top-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. Also in the interview on March 13, Waters said the SEC needs the user fee option to fund exams because it is doing too little oversight of investment advisors. She referred to a 2011 SEC study that showed that the agency examines about 8% of registered advisors annually.
Mary Jo White said “that is not good…if we have user fees, we can expand that substantially. We want to make sure we do everything we can to increase [SEC] funding so they can do their job. This user fee is in line with that.”