Executive Compensation Disclosure
The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting, as interim final rules, amendments to the disclosure requirements for executive and director compensation. The amendments to Item 402 of Regulations S- K and S-B revise Summary Compensation Table and Director Compensation Table disclosure with respect to stock awards and option awards to provide disclosure of the compensation cost of awards over the requisite service period, as described in Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123 (revised 2004) Share-Based Payment (FAS 123R). FAS 123R defines a requisite service period as the period or periods over which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for a share-based payment. The revised disclosure replaces disclosure in the Summary Compensation Table and Director Compensation Table of the aggregate grant date fair value of awards computed in accordance with FAS 123R. The amendments revise the Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table to add a column showing, on a grant-by-grant basis, the full grant date fair value of awards computed in accordance with FAS 123R. The amendments also revise the Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table to include information concerning repriced or materially modified options, stock appreciation rights and similar option-like instruments, disclosing the incremental fair value computed as of the repricing or modification date computed in accordance with FAS 123R. The amendments to the Director Compensation Table in Item 402 of Regulation S-K require footnote disclosure corresponding to the new Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table fair value disclosures. The amendments are intended to provide investors with more complete and useful disclosure about executive compensation. Disclosing the compensation cost of stock and option awards over the requisite service period will give investors a better idea of the compensation earned by an executive or director during a particular reporting period, consistent with the principles underlying the financial statement disclosure; and retaining the requirement to disclose the grant date fair value will give investors useful information about the total impact of compensation decisions made by a company in a particular reporting period.
Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
We are proposing interpretive guidance for management regarding its evaluation of internal control over financial reporting. The interpretive guidance sets forth an approach by which management can conduct a top-down, risk-based evaluation of internal control over financial reporting. The proposed guidance is intended to assist companies of all sizes to complete their annual evaluation in an effective and efficient manner and it provides guidance on a number of areas commonly cited as concerns over the past two years. In addition, we are proposing an amendment to our rules requiring management's annual evaluation of internal control over financial reporting to make it clear that an evaluation that complies with the interpretive guidance is one way to satisfy those rules. Further, we are proposing an amendment to our rules to revise the requirements regarding the auditor's attestation report on the assessment of internal control over financial reporting.
Exemptions for Banks Under Section 3(a)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Related Rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission is publishing for comment proposed rules and rule amendments regarding exemptions from the definitions of ``broker'' and ``dealer'' under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') for banks'' securities activities. In particular, the Commission is re-proposing a conditional exemption originally proposed in 2004 that would allow banks to effect riskless principal transactions with non-U.S. persons pursuant to Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933 (``Securities Act''). The Commission also is proposing to amend and redesignate an existing exemption from the definition of ``dealer'' for banks' securities lending activities as a conduit lender. In addition, the Commission is proposing to amend a rule that grants a limited exemption from U.S. broker-dealer registration for foreign broker-dealers, conforming the rule to amended definitions of ``broker'' and ``dealer'' under the Exchange Act. Finally, the Commission is requesting comment on its intention to withdraw a rule defining the term ``bank'' for purposes of Sections 3(a)(4) and 3(a)(5) of the Exchange Act, because of judicial invalidation, a time-limited exemption for banks' securities activities, because of the passage of time, and an exemption from the definition of ``broker'' and ``dealer'' for savings associations and savings banks, an exemption no longer necessary because of the passage of the Regulatory Relief Act.
Definitions of Terms and Exemptions Relating to the “Broker” Exceptions for Banks
The Board and the Commission jointly are issuing, and requesting comment on, proposed rules that would implement certain of the exceptions for banks from the definition of the term ``broker'' under Section 3(a)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act''), as amended by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (``GLBA''). The proposed rules would define terms used in these statutory exceptions and include certain related exemptions. In developing this proposal, the Agencies have consulted with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (``OCC''), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (``FDIC'') and the Office of Thrift Supervision (``OTS''). The proposal is intended, among other things, to facilitate banks' compliance with the GLBA.
Investment Company Governance
The Commission is reopening the comment period on its June 2006 request for comment regarding amendments to investment company (``fund'') governance provisions. The purpose of the additional comment period is to permit public comment on two papers prepared by the Office of Economic Analysis on this topic that will be made public by including them in the comment file. The comments the Commission receives will be used to inform our further consideration of the matter.