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SEC Rulemaking Agenda Pared for Fiscal Year 2017

Bloomberg recently reported that the SEC has significantly trimmed its rulemaking agenda for 2017.  Under former Chairwoman Mary Jo White, the SEC’s fall 2016 rulemaking agenda included 62 items in various categories from proposed rules to long-term or completed actions, including regulatory action on Dodd-Frank provisions, ETFs and corporate board diversity. The current rulemaking list released on July 20 contains 33 items in the proposed and final rule categories, including measures on ETFs and derivatives. The agenda also includes a recommendation to amend the Loan Rule (regarding the independence of an accountant when the accountant has a lending relationship with an entity that holds securities of the accountant’s audit client). The SEC in 2016 granted no-action relief on the Loan Rule’s applicability but that relief will expire at the end of 2017. The current agenda was drafted under Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar before Jay Clayton became SEC chairman in May. The current agenda excluded a number of items on the 2016 list, including a proposal for a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisers when providing personalized investment advice about securities to retail customers. The regulatory agenda is a nonbinding indicator of the rulemaking plans of the SEC Chair and staff.