Displaying items by tag: SEC
For the most part, regulatory risk is understood well before it becomes a reality. There is a lot of uncertainty around the final rule, but generally you can prepare long in advance. That said, Reg BI may be about to cause a big problem in publicly traded markets. In particular, there is increasing speculation that Reg BI may soon be applied to everyone’s favorite darling (or the opposite), Robinhood (HOOD). The company has been under intense scrutiny for most of this year for its monetization strategies as well as its gamification of trading.
FINSUM: And this would not just be limited to Robinhood but all online trading platforms. This could lead to some significant volatility.
The SEC is sending some very disconcerting (if you are advisor), and not so subtle signals on its plans. This version of the SEC has taken a very different tact in its appointment of critical staff. Effectively, it has closed the revolving door. And what we mean, is that in contrast to previous SECs, this one has brought almost no one in from the industry at a senior position. Instead, it is being staffed with prosecutors, consumer advocates, and other regulatory-oriented government types. The appointments seem to be a reflection of Gensler’s policies priorities and views on how he wants the SEC to conduct itself during the Biden era.
FINSUM: The SEC is sending the loudest message it possibly can without writing it on the wall. The “read between the lines” is clear: enforcement is going to be intense.
If there were ever a sign of things to come from the SEC, this is it. There has been a lot of speculation about how the SEC will approach enforcement of Reg BI under new chief Gary Gensler. It is widely expected that the new administration will be much tougher than under Trump. But even with that expectation, this week’s move is big. The SEC just hired the every-broker-curses-her-name longtime head of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America Barbara Roper as a senior adviser. Roper has been by far the biggest critic of Reg BI and was the biggest proponent of the Obama era DOL Rule.
FINSUM: The SEC could not have done a better job of signaling where things are heading. Time to buckle down on your compliance and start setting aside working capital to deal with beefed up protocols and more investigations.
Advisors better get ready because the Trumpian era of relatively loose SEC enforcement is about to come to an abrupt end. The SEC has just appointed a new enforcement chief and his record says everything about where the Commission is heading. Gurbir Grewal, former State Attorney General for New Jersey has been appointed as the SEC’s top enforcer. Very notably, Grewal proactively proposed a uniform fiduciary standard in his home state of New Jersey, which speaks volumes about his views.
FINSUM: So the bottom line here is that this is the clearest sign yet that the SEC seems likely to rather dramatically scale up its enforcement. Many are now expecting that the SEC will define “best interest” and then employ Grewal as a strongman on enforcement.
In what would come as very welcome news for financial advisors, the newest version of the fiduciary rule may have its implementation delayed. The rule was first thrown out by the fifth circuit court a few years ago, then reproposed and accepted in the early part of Biden’s term. Now it is set to go into effect in December. However, a large contingency of trade groups are putting together a formal request to have the DOL delay the full implementation of the rule to give firms more time to get into compliance.
FINSUM: This is potentially good news, but in the longer term it is likely a moot point since it is widely expected that Biden’s DOL will be redrafting an entirely new version of the rule, and probably one that is closely aligned with the original iteration from the Obama era.