After months of discussion and awkward non-committal but very public comments, the SEC and DOL have finally made a solid announcement. The SEC has now stated that the pair are finally working in collaboration on drafting a new fiduciary rule proposal. SEC chief Clayton says that after months of digesting public commentary, the SEC is now ready to move forward with drafting a new rule. Clayton confirmed to Congress that his agency and the DOL had begun working on the new rule. The SEC is seeking a single harmonized rule for all accounts, with Clayton saying “There ought to be consistency with us and the Department of Labor. We can't have asymmetric standards. You can't put one hat on when you're talking about 50% of your assets and another hat on when you're talking about another 50. It makes no sense”.
FINSUM: We think this is very good news. The SEC is an infinitely more adept regulator than the DOL when it comes to financial markets, so we expect the new version of the rule will be much improved for all. That said, there is still no announced timeline, which is a bit frustrating.