NASAA Statement on the Securities Fraud Deterrence and Investor Restitution Act of 2003 (H.R. 2179)

WASHINGTON (February 25, 2004) – The following is a statement by Ralph A. Lambiase, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and Connecticut Securities Director, on H.R. 2179, the “Securities Fraud Deterrence and Investor Restitution Act of 2003.”

“NASAA is pleased that Congress recognizes that state securities regulators are essential partners to federal regulators in protecting investors and making the nation’s securities markets the most fair and trusted in the world.”

“H.R. 2179, as amended today by the House Committee on Financial Services, is a vast improvement over previous versions that would have jeopardized the effective and complementary system of state and federal securities regulation. The Committee today replaced the ‘federal preemption’ language in section 8(b) of the bill with an amendment calling for voluntary participation by NASAA in a joint study with the Securities and Exchange Commission on ways to improve the two-way coordination, cooperation, and communication between state and federal securities regulators. This amendment affirms NASAA’s joint initiative with the SEC, announced in September 2003, which has promoted constructive discussions about ways to enhance federal and state mutual cooperation. Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-OH) inserted replacement language for Section 8(b) into the Manager’s Amendment that called for NASAA and the SEC to jointly undertake the study. Ranking Member Barney Frank (D-MA), in conjunction with Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), then offered an amendment to make NASAA’s participation in the study voluntary, in recognition of the autonomy of state securities regulators and Constitutional questions related to federalism. Chairman Oxley urged the Committee to accept the Frank/Kanjorski amendment, which was then approved by a voice vote.

“The Committee has taken a significant step toward restoring investor confidence. State and federal regulators will continue to work together to investigate and prosecute unethical, inequitable and illegal practices in the securities business,” Lambiase said.

For More Information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications
202-737-0900

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