Gensler Seeks Curbs to 2020 Whistleblower Rule Amendments

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in a statement said the agency would revisit amendments to whistleblower rules adopted in September 2020, pointing to concerns that the amendments could discourage whistleblowers from coming forward. Critics of the amendments, including Commissioners Allison Herren Lee and Caroline Crenshaw, have pointed to the discretion allowed the SEC in determining the dollar amount of certain awards and the protections for whistleblowers who face retaliation, among other issues. Gensler stated that he has directed the staff to prepare for potential revisions to two rules later in 2021. Gensler said the staff is considering “whether our rules should be revised to permit the Commission to make awards for related actions that might otherwise be covered by an alternative whistleblower program that is not comparable to the SEC’s own program, and to clarify that the Commission will not lower an award based on its dollar amount.”