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January 3, 2006

NYSE Dissents on Single Regulator

By Gregory Bresiger

An NYSE official, defending the current system of self-regulation, said it would be a tragic mistake for the securities industry if it embraces the concept of a single regulator.

That was the comment of NYSE's Chief Regulatory Officer Richard Ketchum. He recently addressed a congressional committee. "The NYSE feels strongly that the creation of a universal self-regulator or full dependence on governmental regulation would be a tragic mistake," he told the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets. "In simplest terms, self-regulation offers the benefit of greater expertise, the ability to leverage government resources, and the ability to impose higher ethical standards than are required under Federal law," he said.

Ketchum's comments to the committee clashed with those of the Securities Industry Association officials. They told lawmakers that a hybrid SRO model would save money and prevent duplication. They also contended that the current system has some conflicts of interest (See "SIA Calls for Single Regulator.")

The SEC, in a recent concept release, has detailed several possible alternatives to the current regulatory system. These included a hybrid examination self-regulator or a universal non-industry regulator along the lines of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. A proposed rule before the SEC would require national exchanges and registered securities associations to have majority independent boards.