(Bloomberg) -- Two dozen financial-services trade groups are asking Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler for more time to comment on new rules that the watchdog is proposing.
Since Gensler took over a year ago, the SEC has been weighing a slew of regulations that affect companies from hedge fund managers to Wall Street high-frequency trading firms. The pace with which the agency has introduced the plans -- and the time it’s allowed for comment on them -- has drawn the ire of Republican lawmakers and business groups.
“Unnecessarily short comment periods run the risk of giving the impression that the commission has already made up its mind,” the trade groups, which represents banks, private equity firms and other financial institutions, wrote in a letter dated April 5. “This is a risk easily mitigated by the commission by providing commenters with ample opportunity to review, analyze, and comment on proposed rules.”
An SEC spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the regulator’s byzantine rulemaking process, politically appointed commissioners first vote to propose a new regulation. The SEC then takes public comments on a proposal, which can easily be hundreds of pages long. Months later, the agency will hold a second vote to finalize a rule, after taking into account the feedback.
The comment period represents a key opportunity for industry groups trying to influence the outcome. On controversial proposals, business associations and law firms often flood the agency with suggested tweaks -- some of which can form the basis of legal challenges later.
“Sufficient time for meaningful public input into individual proposals and more holistically on the commission’s rulemaking agenda and the possible interconnectedness of these proposals is vitally important and ultimately could have a significant impact on savers, investors, capital formation, and economic growth and job creation,” wrote the industry groups.
Among groups signing the letter were the American Bankers Association, the American Investment Council, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association.
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