Four Spots Biden Is Likely to Reverse SEC Deregulation

In a Biden administration, a reconstituted SEC led by a Democratic chair and consisting of a Democratic majority will most likely launch an active rulemaking agenda, roll back Trump-era regulations, and step up its enforcement and inspections programs.

Here are the four places to look first as the SEC retires the Commission’s current deregulatory approach. Inspections and Enforcement Under Democratic leadership, the SEC is likely to return to more aggressive inspection and enforcement programs than that seen in recent years….In particular, the Covid-19 pandemic will almost certainly prompt extensive SEC investigative and enforcement actions. The Enforcement Division will carefully review health care and pharmaceutical issuers’ disclosures for material omissions and misstatements, and fraud by profiteers offering bogus investments.

Shareholder Voting In July 2020, the SEC made significant changes to the proxy advisor rules. Critics, such as Commissioner Allison Herren Lee, argued that the new rules were unwarranted, as they addressed no identifiable problem. The scope of the opposition to this measure makes it a candidate for early reversal in 2021. A to-do list of similar measures could also include recent changes to the shareholder proposal rules that make it more difficult for a small investor to submit or resubmit a proposal for inclusion in company proxy materials.

Regulation Best Interest Financial firms have invested heavily in implementing Regulation Best Interest. Any major changes or interpretive shifts to this controversial rule would be highly disruptive to the industry, especially during the ongoing pandemic-related economic challenges….

ESG Matters Calls for increased information and disclosure on environmental, social, and governance disclosure prompted recommendations by the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee in May 2020…Expect a heightened focus on ESG and a top place on the Commission’s rulemaking to-do list at the outset of a Biden administration.

ANALYSIS: Four Spots Biden Is Likely to Reverse SEC Deregulation

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