Adviser SRO bill dead for now

Investment News reported today that the SRO bill is, at least temporarily, dead.  Hours after Maxine Waters (D-CA) proposed introduced legislation that would maintain the Securities and Exchange Commission’s purview over investment advisers through implementing user fees, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., put his own oversight measure on indefinite hold.

Mr. Bachus has argued that his bill, which would create at least one self-regulatory organization to oversee advisers, would strengthen investor protection by increasing the number of examinations that are performed currently by the SEC.

Adviser groups have stridently opposed Mr. Bachus’ bill, saying that it would significantly increase their compliance costs. On Wednesday morning, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced a bill that would allow the SEC to charge user fees for exams, an approach advisers back.

By Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Bachus said his bill is not going anywhere for the moment.

“Everyone agrees there is a serious problem,” Mr. Bachus said in a statement to InvestmentNews. “Unfortunately, there is no consensus on how to fix it. No bill, including the bipartisan bill I offered, will move forward in the committee unless and until there is a consensus.”

It is not clear how long it will take to reach that consensus, but with the number of legislative days in 2012 quickly dwindling, it may not occur this year.

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