SEC Delays Rules in Majority of Cases, Public Citizen Report Shows

June 24, 2014

SEC Delays Rules in Majority of Cases, Public Citizen Report Shows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Chair Mary Jo White has delayed action on nearly two-thirds of its rulemaking initiatives over the past year, a Public Citizen review finds.

“ ‘Efficiency Nut?’ Evaluating the Rulemaking Progress at the Securities and Exchange Commission” compares the proposed completion dates in the agency’s fall 2013 agenda with the most recent spring 2014 agenda.

Of the 23 rules the SEC expected to finalize in 2014, according to the agenda it published in the fall of 2013, it has delayed its expected date of finalization in 13 rules.

“In the majority of cases, the SEC now tells the public it needs more time to consider or finalize proposals,” said report author Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

“Sorely needed Wall Street reform measures ordered by Congress to protect regular Americans and the markets still have not come to fruition nearly seven years after the financial collapse,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “This is an unacceptable pace for rulemaking.”

A self-described “efficiency nut,” White promised to clear the logjam of rules at the SEC. But the agency has lagged behind its sister organization, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, as well as the prudential banking regulators also charged with implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The SEC has completed 44 percent of the rules required by Dodd-Frank, whereas the CFTC has completed 84 percent, and bank regulators have completed 53 percent. 

For example, the CFTC has largely completed its rules for derivative transactions under its purview, whereas the SEC has yet to complete corresponding rules. 

Public Citizen analyzed the regulatory agendas of the SEC, which are required of all federal agencies and are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget. This lists expected dates for action, including the issuance of proposed rules and finalizing of rules already proposed.

Read the report.