WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2021 – The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today released its legislative agenda for the 117th Congress, advocating for policymaking designed to protect and empower retail investors and ensure the preeminence of our nation’s public securities and financial markets.
“As the securities regulators closest to investors, as well as many startup and small businesses, NASAA members have a unique perspective on national policy issues. We look forward to working with the 117th Congress on bipartisan legislative policies that prioritize the interests of retail investors,” Lisa A. Hopkins, NASAA President and West Virginia Senior Deputy Securities Commissioner, said during a briefing today.
NASAA’s legislative agenda was developed by the state securities regulators of NASAA’s Federal Legislation Committee, chaired by Claire McHenry, Deputy Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking Bureau of Securities. The agenda calls for Congress to ensure the preeminence of the U.S. public markets by resisting measures to water-down current regulatory standards while also enacting measures to provide greater transparency of the private markets. “As private markets expand as the result of regulatory policies pursued by the SEC, Congress has an obligation to review the rules under which these markets operate and the protections in place for investors,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins added that NASAA will actively engage with members of Congress to promote policies designed to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the capital markets, take steps to prevent exploitation of elderly investors, and address the unique challenges facing Millennial investors. “Congress has a critical role to play in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Hopkins said. “The new Congress should also consider how regulators can help facilitate greater diversity.”
NASAA’s agenda calls for Congress to vigorously exercise its oversight authority on behalf of the investing public in an array of financial matters including self-directed individual retirement accounts and special purpose acquisition companies. “Congress has a responsibility to shine a spotlight on risks to investors and examine potential solutions to address these risks,” said Michael Canning, NASAA’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs. “Similarly, Congress should insist that the SEC prioritize issues impacting retail investors.”
Melanie Lubin, NASAA President-elect and Maryland Securities Commissioner, said NASAA will encourage the 117th Congress to support small and emerging businesses by expanding outreach and education to such businesses regarding the unprecedented options they have for raising capital responsibly from investors under existing federal and state laws and regulations. “Congress should support efforts to promote responsible capital formation by small and emerging businesses that are consistent with investor protection principles,” Lubin said. “Given the abundance of capital raising options already available to promising small businesses, Congress should make coordination and outreach by federal agencies to these businesses a priority, especially for businesses that may be at a disadvantage due to factors such as race, gender, or geographic location.”
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Bob Webster | Director of Communications
Noelle Lane | Communications & Outreach Specialist