May 19, 2022

SEC Chair Requests More Resources

SEC Chair Gensler appeared before Congressional committees this week to present the SEC’s fiscal year 2023 budget request. The SEC requests $2.149 billion, an 8% increase over fiscal year 2022.

In his remarks, Gensler noted that the Division of Corporation Finance has shrunk a whopping 19% since 2016. Over that same period, the Division’s workload has grown. Gensler notes that in fiscal year 2016, Corp Fin reviewed filings related to approximately 510 new registrants, while that grew almost fourfold last year, to 1,960.

In addition to seeking resources to support the SEC’s programmatic areas, Gensler also highlighted the need for more technology resources:

The amount of data that the SEC processes has grown by 20 percent annually for the past two years. Further, cyber threats have placed our financial sector on high alert. As technologies evolve, it is important that the SEC’s information technology follows suit.

We continue to need additional resources to support the Commission’s data, cybersecurity, and other IT needs. While our $370 million request for the Office of Information Technology is basically flat with the last two years of spending, in real terms it is up only modestly from FY16. Moreover, for comparison’s sake, JPMorgan spends an average of $1 billion in technology each month.

It is critical that the SEC have additional technological resources to incorporate analytics and machine learning capabilities for our oversight and surveillance functions, protect agency and registrant information, provide data to the investing public, and much more.

Gensler’s remarks also note that the agency has made a separate $57.4 million request to support the build-out and move to a new SEC headquarters. It still feels to me like the SEC just moved to 100 F Street, but I realize that was 17 years ago now!

– Dave Lynn