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Senators Introduce E-Delivery Bill

Sens. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., and Tom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced Thursday the Improving Disclosure for Investors Act of 2024, requiring the Securities and Exchange Commission to write a rule allowing financial firms to deliver their documents in digital format.

The House Financial Services Committee passed companion legislation, H.R. 1807, last April. The bill was introduced by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass.

Tillis said Thursday in a statement that the “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.”

In statements Thursday, Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab, the Investment Company Institute and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association were quick to applaud the bill’s introduction.

Eric Pan, ICI’s president and CEO, said that the bipartisan legislation “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 urged both chambers of Congress to pass the bill as soon as possible.

Fidelity said in a statement that “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, the legislation “preserves the right of retail investors to receive paper, and provides robust consumer protections through any transition to eDelivery.”

Schwab added in a statement that “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 said it “looks forward to working with these Senators and their colleagues to move this important legislation forward.”

SIFMA added that 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.”

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