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US SEC Requests More Funding for Crypto Regulation: Report

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SEC Seeks Increased Funding to Enhance Market Oversight

  • The SEC requests $2.594 billion for FY 2025 to expand staffing and address the growing complexities in financial markets, including cryptocurrency.
  • Key priorities include leveraging technology for market surveillance, improving cybersecurity, and implementing the Financial Data Transparency Act.
  • The budget aims to fortify the SEC’s role in investor protection and market integrity amid rapid changes in technology and investment practices.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), overseeing the nation’s capital markets, has submitted a budget request for fiscal year 2025, totaling $2.594 billion. This funding will support 5,621 positions and 5,073 full-time equivalents. The SEC operates on a deficit-neutral basis, with the budget set to be offset by transaction fees.

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The SEC’s Budget Proposal

The SEC, a cornerstone of the American financial landscape for over 90 years, plays an important role in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the markets. In its oversight capacity, the SEC ensures the fair operation of a complex system that includes individual investors, issuers, and other financial entities. The agency’s scope is expansive, overseeing around 40,000 entities, including thousands of investment advisers, broker-dealers, and national securities exchanges.

In recent years, the SEC has faced challenges due to the rapid growth and transformation of the markets. Notably, the number of clients of registered investment advisers has surged by 61 percent since 2018, reaching over 54 million. The private funds area has also seen a 54 percent increase in the number of funds, with these managing assets surpassing the size of the entire U.S. commercial banking sector. The agency also keeps a close eye on developments in technology and business models, from electronic trading to the emerging world of cryptocurrency.

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Technology and Surveillance: Enhancing SEC’s Regulatory Framework

The proposed budget aims to address key priority areas and adapt to the evolving market landscape. One such priority is the regulation and oversight of the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. The SEC views this area as a ‘Wild West‘ with significant noncompliance and speculative risks for investors. By increasing its funding, the SEC aims to better police these markets, enhancing investor protection and market integrity.

Another focus of the budget request is enhancing economic and data analytics. The SEC plans to leverage new technologies, including machine learning, to improve market surveillance and enforcement. These advancements will support the SEC in identifying potential fraud and misconduct and assessing regulatory effectiveness.

Additionally, technology and data security form a critical component of the budget. The SEC is keen on improving information security, migrating to cloud infrastructure, and modernizing key systems like the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system. An additional $60 million is earmarked for these IT initiatives, reflecting the agency’s commitment to maintaining robust digital infrastructure.

Implementing New Standards and Strengthening Security

The Financial Data Transparency Act of 2022 also features prominently in the SEC’s budgetary considerations. The Act requires the development of data standards for financial reporting, which will necessitate substantial investment in staffing and technology.

In summary, the SEC’s FY 2025 budget request reflects its commitment to adapting to the rapid changes and growing complexities of modern financial markets. With a focus on areas like cryptocurrency regulation, data analytics, technology upgrades, and compliance with new legislative mandates, the SEC aims to reinforce its role as a vigilant guardian of the integrity and efficiency of the U.S. capital markets.

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