SEC Staff Continues to Work on Potential Amendments to the “Loan Provision” Concerning Auditor Independence
Vedder Price PC
According to the SEC’s updated 2017 regulatory agenda, a potential amendment to the so-called “Loan Provision” of Regulation S-X, regarding the impact of loans or debtor-creditor relationships on auditor independence, is in the “final rule stage,” with the SEC’s Office of Chief Accountant considering issuing a recommendation that the SEC amend the Loan Provision. The regulatory agenda, which is available on the “Reginfo.gov” website maintained by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (part of the Office of Management and Budget), is a nonbinding indicator of the rulemaking plans of the SEC’s chairman and staff.
As we have previously reported, SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar gave a speech in early May 2017 in which he stated that he directed the SEC staff to begin working on amendments to the Loan Provision to “address unnecessary compliance issues and instead focus attention on lending relationships that actually threaten auditor independence.” At that time, Commissioner Piwowar noted that “this rulemaking is consistent with my view that the Commission evaluate whether the rules and policies the agency implements are indeed achieving their intended objectives.”