Jan 16, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON: Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined President Bush at the White House for the signing of the Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act, legislation originally introduced in the House by Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) as the lead Republican and Rep. Maloney as the lead Democrat.

"I am pleased to join President Bush at the White House for the signing of this pro-investor, pro-consumer legislation," said Maloney. "The Capital Markets Fee Relief Act at last puts a stop to the government's continued overcharging of investors for market oversight."

"Importantly, the Capital Markets Fee Relief Act allows the SEC to increase the salaries of its employees so that it can retain and recruit the most qualified professionals to oversee the markets. In the wake of the evolving Enron scandal and its impact on the entire accounting industry, it is critically important that this law increases the resources available to the SEC.

"As always and especially now, I am pleased to announce successful legislation that benefits New York City. As the center of the world's financial markets, New York City will definitely benefit from the increased market activity that these fee reductions will spur. A large portion of the estimated $14 billion this bill saves investors over the next decade will benefit New York and that's great news for this city working so hard to recover."

Background: In the past decade the SEC has taken in $9.2 billion more in fees than it required to oversee the markets. While the government purports to use these fees for market oversight - excess fees have been distributed to the general treasury and used for other governmental operations. This money comes directly from capital markets participants -- including individual investors and new issuers.

The Capital Markets Fee Relief Act allows the SEC to increase the pay of its employees to the level of the other federal banking services regulators (Fed, OCC & OTS). This will help the SEC, an agency that has lost one-third of its workforce over the last two years, retain key employees needed to oversee the financial markets. These provisions were supported by the National Treasury Employees Union.

The fee reductions in this legislation benefit the 52% percent of Americans who own stocks or mutual funds, including 401k holders and participants in public pension plans. The House passed the Fosella-Maloney bill, H.R. 1088 - 404-22 on June 14, 2001. The Senate passed the bill by Unanimous Consent in December.