Senate Passes Bill To Reduce SEC Trading Fees

March 23, 2001 ( - The U.S. Senate has approved legislation that would reduce fees to register and trade securities, saving investors and corporations an estimated $8.9 billion over five years.

Investors who buy and sell stocks and mutual funds, including pension plans and 401(k)s, pay the fees, designed to fund the SEC’s oversight of the markets.

However, the SEC currently takes in more than six times what it requires to fund its operations, according to lawmakers.

The Senate Banking Committee approved the S. 143, the Competitive Market Supervision Act on March 1.  A House Financial Services subcommittee adopted a companion bill (The Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act) earlier this week, and the full House committee is expected to take it up as early as next Wednesday.

There are minor differences at present between the House and Senate versions, however both the SEC and securities industry groups support the bills.

If the legislation is passed out of committee, Congress could vote on it by this summer.

The bill also provides a raise for some Securities and Exchange Commission employees, putting their pay on par with counterparts at federal bank regulatory agencies.