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U.S. Securities and Commodities Agencies Demanded a Boost in Budget, Cited Growing Fintech Markets

April 15
5:31 AM 2016

U.S. regulators for securities and commodities sectors pushed a Senate committee to uplift their budgets. On Tuesday committee, the heads of agencies in charge of regulating securities and commodities expressed their demands.

The securities and commodities agencies cited the increasing sophistication in the financial markets and technology as a backdrop of the budget demands. Even so, the lawmakers gave no sign of approving the demand, adding extra dollars to the agencies' budgets.

In a new proposed budget, President Barack Obama requested an increase of 11 percent for one of the country's security regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The increase would boost its spending to $1,781 billion as reported by Reuters.

A U.S. regulator agency for commodities, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), also filed a proposal seeking an increase of 32 percent in its budget. The increase would give the agency $331 million budget to spend.

However, some lawmakers seem to not be fully agreeing on the proposed budget increase for the agencies. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas puts it, "Access to more funding does not necessarily ensure that an agency will successfully achieve its mission or spend that funding responsibly."

Senator Boozman, which is also the Republican chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on financial services noted that the fact that SEC spending does not affect the federal deficit does not mean it's free of oversight. He also added that it's the congress' responsibility to ensure all the funds are being spent "in a manner that protects investors, helps markets operate efficiently and spurs economic growth for all Americans."

On the other hand, others believe that an increase in the budget is important. Chair Mary Jo White said, "Additional funding is imperative if we are to continue the agency's progress in fulfilling its responsibilities over our increasingly fast, complex and growing markets." She also added that adding the budget would help the agency hire more staffs in critical, core areas. She also noted that increasing the workforce means that SEC would be able to conduct more exams, increase data analytics and improve intelligence gathering for cases, as quoted by Yahoo News.

The CFTC also tried to justify its request for the budget increase, saying that the agency does not have enough resources to oversee its $400 trillion markets and commodities trading. According to Lawyer Herald, the CFTC Chair Timothy Massad also stated that more than a third of the extra dollars requested would go toward information technology.

U.S. regulatory agencies for securities and commodities, the SEC and CFTC, pushed the government to boost both their budgets. The agencies argued that the increasing financial and technology markets create a need of more fund for them to function properly.

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