* State securities watchdogs urge full SEC funding
* NASAA seeks implementation of fiduciary standard
By Joseph A. Giannone
NEW YORK, Feb 2 State securities regulators on
Wednesday urged Congress to preserve state and federal investor
protections in last year's Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
"Dodd-Frank was born out of necessity and not out of a
desire for regulation for regulation's sake," said Pennsylvania
Securities Commissioner Steven Irwin, in a statement. "Congress
must not repeal Dodd-Frank and rip open the regulatory gaps it
seeks to close."
Irwin is the chairman of the federal legislation committee
of the North American Securities Administrators Association,
the organization that coordinates the consumer protection and
enforcement activities of state and provinces.
Officials from states like New York and Massachusetts have
been aggressive in challenging Wall Street banks. Under
Dodd-Frank they will play a key role in supervising thousands
of small investment advisers.
NASAA presented on Wednesday its legislative agenda for
this year, including calls for "strong" implementation of
Dodd-Frank, improved cooperation between state and federal
agencies and imposing a fiduciary duty on all financial
professionals providing investment advice.
David Massey, this year's NASAA president and North
Carolina's deputy securities administrator, said the group
wants to ensure "the investor protections included in the
Dodd-Frank Act are not weakened or delayed by funding
NASAA's agenda calls for, among other things, that Congress
at a minimum provide the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission with $1.3 billion in fiscal 2011, the 18 percent
budget increase authorized by Dodd-Frank.
Partisan wrangling in the U.S. Congress has left the SEC's
funding stuck at 2010 levels.
The states also want lawmakers to reject using industry
self-regulatory organizations to supervise investment advisers
and instead provide funding to help state and federal
regulators handle the expanded work load.
In a little over six months since Dodd-Frank was signed
into law, and less than three years from the depths of the
financial crisis, financial services companies and a new
Republican majority in the House have began pushing to reverse
some of the reforms.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)