Press Releases

Hickenlooper, Tillis Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Modernize Investor Disclosure

Feb 29, 2024

U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Thom Tillis recently introduced the Improving Disclosure for Investors Act of 2024, bipartisan legislation requiring the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to propose rules allowing for the electronic delivery of regulatory documents to investors.

“Today’s economy runs in the digital age, and we need to catch up,” said Hickenlooper. “Cutting red tape is as simple as going paperless.”

“U.S capital markets have embraced the digital age and rely on far less paper now than they did 20 years ago, and it is past time that we bring disclosure requirements into the 21st century,” said Tillis. “This commonsense legislation will heighten efficiency and cut down on paper while preserving investors’ ability to receive hard copies.”

The SEC currently permits electronic delivery of certain documents, subject to requirements that a registrant provides notice that the information is available electronically, the investor has adequate access to such information, and the registrant either obtains evidence to show actual delivery or obtains informed consent from the investor (“opt-in” requirement). The SEC has not comprehensively updated this framework in over 20 years. This legislation requires the SEC establish a means for investors to opt out of electronic delivery at any time and receive paper documents.

Fidelity Investments  “Fidelity commends Sens. Tillis and Hickenlooper for introducing bipartisan eDelivery legislation to reform the SEC’s default communications standard from paper to paperless. In the 21st century American investors deserve a more engaging, secure, and timely standard to receive information in line with digital-first policies at the Department of Labor, Thrift Savings Plan, Social Security Administration, and Internal Revenue Service. Importantly, this legislation preserves the right of retail investors to receive paper, and provides robust consumer protections through any transition to eDelivery. Fidelity looks forward to working with Congressional leaders to enact this bipartisan and bicameral legislation into law.”

Charles Schwab – “Charles Schwab commends Senators Tillis and Hickenlooper for their efforts in crafting this legislation, which would require the SEC to promulgate rules to default to the e-delivery of regulatory documents required under the securities laws, while still allowing those who prefer to receive documents in paper form. Default e-delivery is long-overdue, as a large majority of investors prefer the speed and convenience of receiving documents electronically. E-delivery allows Schwab to deliver our products at lower cost, avoids waste, and is environmentally friendly.  Schwab looks forward to working with these Senators and their colleagues to move this important legislation forward.”

ICI – “The bipartisan Improving Disclosure for Investors Act of 2024 will allow millions of investors to receive information electronically, the overwhelming preference for most Americans. While the bill contains provisions to allow those that prefer to receive paper statements to continue to do so, this is a big step forward in not only modernizing information delivery but recognizing the need to reduce the use of paper. ICI applauds Senators Hickenlooper and Tillis for furthering this legislation in the interest of investors. Their leadership in enhancing the retail investment experience will make US capital markets even stronger. We urge both chambers of Congress to pass this legislation as soon as possible,” said ICI CEO and President Eric J. Pan.

SIFMA – “The time is overdue to make electronic delivery the default means for delivering investor communications, while giving investors the power to choose paper delivery if preferred. Survey results show that a large majority of retail investors, regardless of income or age, want e-delivery for its environmental benefits, speed, and convenience. SIFMA commends Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) for introducing The Improving Disclosure for Investors Act of 2024, the Senate companion to legislation introduced in the House last year. This important bipartisan legislation is the natural next step in modernizing the SEC’s framework in light of changing investor preferences and technology.”

Full text of the bill is available HERE. 


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