US regulators urge SEC to propose fund changes

Associated Press Modified: November 14, 2012 at 12:17 am •  Published: November 13, 2012

The panel's recommendations for possible options are:

—Requiring money funds to hold capital reserves amounting to 1 percent of the fund's assets and requiring that a small percentage of an investor's account be blocked from immediate withdrawal.

—Requiring funds to hold capital reserves of 3 percent and to take other measures such as increasing the diversity of their investments.

—Requiring the value of money fund shares to float, to reflect the market value of the fund's holdings at a given time, instead of the current fixed $1 per share. That is the same requirement that applies to regular mutual funds.

Regulators say the change would help investors by providing a clearer picture of money funds' risk, so that they don't have a false sense of security.

The mutual fund industry's lobbying group, the Investment Company Institute, criticized the regulators' action, calling it "deeply flawed."

"The SEC is the appropriate agency to evaluate additional money-market fund reforms," ICI President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens said in a statement. "When aired in the past, these concepts have elicited strong opposition for their adverse impacts on investors, (companies) and the economy."