The “regulatory deluge” underway at the Securities and Exchange Commission is uncoordinated and largely unnecessary, SEC Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda said Wednesday.
“I’ve never seen an era, perhaps with the exception of late 2010-2011 in the immediate aftermath of the Dodd-Frank Act where the staff has been stretched so thin and asked to do so much,” said Mr. Uyeda, a Republican who has worked at the SEC in varying roles since 2006 and as a commissioner since June. He was speaking at a Security Traders Association event.
The SEC has been active in recent years — its 2023 regulatory agenda, published in January, listed 29 items in the final rule-making stage and 23 items in the proposed rule-making stage.
Industry groups as well as Mr. Uyeda and his fellow Republican Commissioner Hester M. Peirce have voiced concerns, saying the pace of the agency's rule-making could overwhelm its regulated entities with too many comment periods and compliance deadlines at once.
“What necessitates widespread overhauls of all of these different areas all at the same time?” Mr. Uyeda said Wednesday.
He added, “My big fear is we’re doing a lot of things in an uncoordinated fashion. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a defined rule book.”
Mr. Uyeda noted that the SEC has proposed multiple rules on cybersecurity under Chairman Gary Gensler. Those proposals “impact a similar universe of market participants but have slightly different reporting requirements. Does that make any sense?” he asked.
Mr. Gensler has repeatedly defended the pace of rule-making and said his agenda is similar in scope to his predecessor, Jay Clayton.
Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday grilled Mr. Gensler about specific SEC proposals and the pace of the agency’s agenda.
For his part, Mr. Gensler told the lawmakers that he’s proud of what the SEC has done. “We put out 46 proposals to date … and on average, it's been more than 70 days from the time we vote it out, we put it on our website, and we have a formal end to a comment period,” Mr. Gensler said. “But then we get comments after that, and we take meetings after that, and we engage actively with trade associations and market participants.”