U.S. securities regulators will bolster the regulation of money market funds and the protection of investors who entrust their funds to broker-dealers and investment advisers, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission told Congress on Thursday.

In testimony prepared for a Senate Banking Committee hearing, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said the agency is considering ways to improve the credit quality, maturity, and liquidity standards applicable to the money market funds.

Schapiro also said SEC lawyers are working on a plan to require investment advisers with custody of client assets to undergo an annual third-party audit, on an unannounced basis, to confirm the safekeeping of those assets.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)