The Securities and Exchange Commission's practice of settling cases while allowing corporations or other defendants to neither admit nor deny the charges will be the subject of a hearing early next year by the House Financial Services Committee.

The committee chairman, Representative Spencer Bachus, Republican of Alabama, said Friday that "the S.E.C.'s practice of using `no-contest settlements' has raised concerns about accountability and transparency." He said the hearings were supported by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

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