The SEC is using a $74 million funding boost stemming from a congressional budget compromise to hire derivatives specialists, boost oversight of credit-rating agencies and catch up on Dodd-Frank Act requirements, SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro told lawmakers on Wednesday.
The money will partially address the agency's “capacity gap” by allowing hiring in its enforcement, inspections and trading and markets units, Ms. Schapiro said in testimony prepared for a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on fiscal year 2012 budgets for the SEC and the CFTC. She also said the agency will make investments in computer technology.
The two agencies had been operating under their fiscal 2010 budget limits during a congressional stalemate over spending for the current fiscal year, but got additional funding under a compromise plan approved last month. Ms. Schapiro and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler had said the impasse threatened to derail efforts to carry out new responsibilities imposed by Dodd-Frank.
At Wednesday's hearing, Ms. Schapiro and Mr. Gensler urged approval of President Barack Obama's 2012 budget requests of $1.4 billion for the SEC and $308 million for the CFTC.
Mr. Gensler, in his prepared remarks, said the money could be used to hire additional employees to oversee an estimated 300 futures brokers and swap dealers, 20 clearinghouses and as many as 40 so-called swap execution facilities required by Dodd-Frank, the regulatory overhaul enacted last year.
The CFTC got an additional $34 million for its current budget under last month's congressional compromise. Mr. Gensler said that money will let the agency “grow modestly to approximately 720 employees.”