SEC Chairman Jay Clayton is working to streamline the agency’s ad hoc approach to approving new ETFs, putting a spotlight on an issue that has vexed the regulator for a decade.

Clayton, who joined the SEC in May, has asked staff to build upon a proposal that was nearly adopted before the 2008 financial crisis doomed its chances, three people familiar with the matter said. A new rule would likely be welcomed by much of the mutual fund industry, which often complains about the costs and how long it takes to get the agency’s sign-off.

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