In response to the damage and disruption inflicted by Hurricane Sandy, the Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that it will extend the deadline for regulatory filings for publicly traded companies, investment advisors and other regulated entities.
The agency said that regulatory filings with original due dates between Oct. 29, when Sandy made landfall, and Nov. 20, would be pushed back, likely to Nov. 21, but only for entities whose reporting operations were directly impacted by the storm.
"It is anticipated that the deadline for any such filing would be extended to Nov. 21, 2012, and the scope of the relief measures would extend to any individual and entity with a filing obligation that cannot file timely due to Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath," the agency said. "The staff will also consider requests for additional relief on a case-by-case basis."
Businesses and advisors seeking an extension of their filing deadlines will have to demonstrate to the SEC that they were affected by the storm, according to a source familiar with the agency's plans. That doesn't necessarily limit the relief to firms located in Sandy's path, but could also apply to advisors or other entities who rely on auditors or attorneys to prepare their filings whose operations were disrupted by the storm.
The new announcement offers a fresh assurance to businesses and advisors affected by Sandy, which closed securities markets for two days last week and left millions without power on the East Coast, with the financial hub of New York City hit especially hard.
Last Monday, as Sandy was still churning its way up the coast, the SEC had announced that it would evaluate requests for a filing extension from regulated entities on a case-by-case basis, with no guarantee that relief would be granted.
Now, the agency is offering an across-the-board extension to publicly traded companies, advisors, investment companies, brokerage firms, accountants, transfer agents and other regulated entities with filing obligations.
The SEC said that staffers are still finalizing relief plans, but that Nov. 21 is the likely due date at this point.