The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday changed some of the rules governing in-house enforcement proceedings to give parties more time and opportunities for depositions in some cases.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said at the commission’s open meeting that the changes give parties more time and more opportunities to present their cases, “while continuing to promote the fair and timely resolution of the proceedings.”
Pre-hearing periods that until now have ended at four months could go as long as 10 months. Parties will be able to have three or five depositions, depending on the number of respondents, and can request two more. The amendments also clarify what types of motions, evidence and experts may be included, and how answers and appeals will be handled. The amendments approved by the commission were proposed in September 2015 and finalized after a public comment period.
The commission also adopted amendments and guidance for reporting and disseminating security-based swap transactions, known as Regulation SBSR, to increase market transparency.
Both changes will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
At the same meeting, the commissioners agreed to propose several other rule changes.
One would for the first time require broker-dealers to provide institutional customers with standardized information about order handling and execution quality, and to publicly disclose that information across all customers. Ms. White said the information should give institutional investors “a powerful new tool” for monitoring routing decisions, especially when combined with additional disclosures from alternative trading systems disclosures proposed late last year. Commissioner Kara M. Stein said that once finalized, the new routing information “should provide investors a report card.”
Another proposed rule would update and simplify numerous rules for disclosure, accounting and technology. Both proposed rules will be published in the Federal Register followed by a 60-day comment period.