SEC Says $700 Million Fee Cut Will Benefit Investors
WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission said starting the week of Feb. 19 it had begun "sharply" cutting fees charged to public companies and other issuers for securities transactions and registrations.
Fees to register securities with the commission will be reduced by 71.3% and fees on securities transactions will be reduced by 50.2%, according to the agency. The SEC sets registration and transaction fees according to the Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act.
Effective Feb. 20, the Section 6(b) fee rate applicable to the registration of securities, the 13(e) fee rate applicable to the repurchase of securities, and the Section 14(g) fee rate applicable to proxy solicitations and statements in corporate control transactions will decrease to $30.70 per million dollars. The Section 6(b) rate also is the rate used to calculate the fees payable with the Annual Notice of Securities Sold pursuant to Rule 24f-2 under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Under the Investor and Capital Markets Fee Relief Act, the SEC makes annual adjustments to the rates paid under Section 6(b) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 13(e), 14(g), and 31 of the Securities Act of 1934. The fee cuts the SEC intended to put into effect for 2007 were thrown into question, however, because the law makes fee rate changes effective only upon enactment of the commission's "regular appropriations," the agency said.
For fiscal 2007, Congress passed a continuing resolution for the entire government, instead of the regular appropriations bill that includes the SEC. As a result, the agency requested special legislative relief to permit the fee cuts to go forward. Congress agreed to the request, and on Feb. 15, President Bush signed House Joint Resolution 20, the continuing resolution for the remainder of FY 2007, which stated that it shall be deemed the commission's "regular appropriation" for FY 2007. That, in turn, triggered the fees cuts, according to SEC.