2018-03-14 / Front Page

Maloney, Committee Dems Oppose SEC Move To Block Investors’ Access To Courts

In light of a recent news report that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is “laying the groundwork” for allowing public companies to cut off investors’ access to the courts by including forced arbitration provisions in their corporate governance documents, Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) led all of the Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee in a letter to SEC Chair Jay Clayton strongly opposing this drastic and unprecedented move to weaken investor protections. Congress Member Maloney serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment of the House Financial Services Committee.

This new policy at the SEC would limit investors’ ability to seek justice and recover their losses by suing in court, even when the company has committed securities fraud. Forced arbitration clauses would also prevent investors from banding together to pursue securities class action lawsuits, which is a critical tool to hold companies accountable. Such a policy would shatter investor confidence in US capital markets, undermine the enforcement of federal securities laws, and would also violate the anti-waiver provisions of the federal securities laws.

For these reasons, the members request that the SEC “reaffirm its longstanding position that forced arbitration provisions in the corporate governance documents of public companies harms the public interest and violates the anti-waiver provisions of the Federal securities laws.”

Signers of the letter are: Carolyn Maloney, Maxine Waters, Joyce Beatty, Michael E. Capuano, Wm. Lacy Clay, Emanuel Cleaver, Charlie Crist, John K. Delaney, Keith Ellison, Bill Foster, Vicente Gonzalez, Josh Gottheimer, Al Green, Denny Heck, James A. Himes, Daniel T. Kildee, Ruben J. Kihuen, Stephen F. Lynch, Gwen Moore, Gregory W. Meeks, Ed Perlmutter, David Scott, Brad Sherman, Kyrsten Sinema, Juan Vargas, and Nydia M. Velázquez.

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