(Bloomberg) — Two dozen financial-services trading groups are asking Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler for more time to comment on the new rules the watchdog is proposing.
Since Gensler took office a year ago, the SEC has been weighing several regulations that affect companies from hedge fund managers to Wall Street high-frequency trading firms. The speed with which the agency has pitched the plans — and allowed time for comment on it — has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers and business groups.
“The unnecessarily short comment period risks creating the impression that the Commission has already made up its mind,” trade groups representing banks, private equity firms and other financial institutions wrote in a letter dated April 5. ” Risk easily mitigated by the Commission to commentators with ample opportunity to review, analyze and comment on proposed rules.
An SEC spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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In the regulator’s Byzantine rule-making process, politically appointed commissioners first vote to propose a new regulation. The SEC then takes public comment on a proposal, which can easily be hundreds of pages long. Months later, the agency will take a second vote to finalize the rule, taking into account the feedback.
The comment period represents a significant opportunity for industry groups trying to influence results. On controversial proposals, trade unions and law firms often flood the agency with suggested changes – some of which may later become the basis for legal challenges.
“Adequate time for meaningful public input into individual proposals and the Commission’s rule-making agenda as a whole and the potential interconnectedness of these proposals is critically important and ultimately important to savers, investors, capital formation, and economic growth and job creation.” could have a significant impact on the economy,” the industry groups wrote.
Groups that signed the letter included the American Bankers Association, the American Investment Council, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and the Loan Syndication and Trading Association.