* Appeals court shot down proxy access rule in July
* Court criticized SEC’s cost-benefit analysis
* SEC trying to improve economic analysis of its rules
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators have no immediate plans to revisit its “proxy access rule” after a federal appeals court overturned it last July, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said on Wednesday.
“In terms of proposing a proxy access rule and putting it on the commission agenda, we just don’t have the capacity right now,” Schapiro told lawmakers on a House Financial Services panel during an oversight hearing. “We are just not going to be able to get to it.”
The SEC’s proxy access rule would have made it easier for shareholders to nominate directors to corporate boards.
It was one of Schapiro’s top priorities when she became SEC chairman in 2009, and language was added to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street overhaul law of 2010 to give the SEC legal authority to put the rule in place.
But the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable challenged the rule on the grounds that the SEC had failed to conduct an adequate analysis of the rule’s economic impact.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia backed the business groups, marking the first time a Dodd-Frank rule has been overturned. It was also the latest in a series of legal defeats the SEC has suffered due to problems with its cost-benefit analyses of regulations.
In September, the SEC said it would not challenge the appeals court’s decision that struck down the rule. But Schapiro said at the time she was still “committed to finding a way to make it easier for shareholders to nominate candidates to corporate boards.”
The SEC has since sought to improve the quality of its economic analysis, as it writes more than 100 rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank law.
In March, it circulated a memo outlining ways to protect its rules from further legal challenges.