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Friday, November 30, 2012

The SEC May Merge With Another Regulator

News summary by MFWire's editors

Two of the major regulatory agencies in the financial world could be coming together at least, that's what soon-to-be retired Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) wants.

Frank, who did not run for reelection and will be ending a long House career in January, just proposed a bill to merge the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according to an AdvisorOne report.

The SEC regulates mutual fund companies as registered investment advisors and it regulates mutual funds themselves under the Investment Company Act of 1940. Though some mutual funds and ETFs do invest in commodities and futures, historically those funds have been regulated by the SEC, not the CFTC. Yet less than a year ago the CFTC publicly weighed stepping in to regulate commodities mutual funds.

The bill was introduced by Frank along with Representative Michael Capuano, another Massachusetts Democrat.

Frank said "the existence of a separate SEC and CFTC is the single largest structural defect in our regulatory system," according to reporter Melanie Waddell.

Other news organizations got in on the coverage as well, including Reuters and The Hill.

This proposal may have a tough time in Congress, Reuters points out. Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas criticized the idea shortly after it was announced was released.

The SEC has been in the news a lot this week, as chairman Mary Schapiro has stepped down. 

Edited by: Ben Geier

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