Wealth Management

(Washington)

If there was ever exciting news in the fiduciary rule saga, this is it. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the SEC will deliver a proposed comprehensive fiduciary rule in the second quarter of this year. The challenge of delivering a rule governing all accounts will be very challenging however, even as the SEC says it is fast-tracking development, as it will be bombarded from both sides. One of the directors from the Consumer Federation of America puts it bluntly, “It’s difficult to see how they can come up with a solution that does not land them in court … If they propose a rule we like, industry will sue them. If they give industry a disclosure-based best interest standard that they want, we’ll sue them”.


FINSUM: The SEC is in a tough position, but them coming up with a proposal for a comprehensive rule would be a step in the right direction.

(New York)

Advisors keep your eyes open, FINRA has put out a new warning on what not to do. The regulator says that dually-registered advisors need to be very careful when moving client funds from a brokerage to an advisory account. FINRA explains best, saying “Finra will review situations in which registered representatives recommend a switch from a brokerage account where that switch clearly disadvantages the customer … such as where the registered representative recommended that the customer purchase a securities product subject to a front-end sales charge in a brokerage account and then shortly thereafter recommended that account be transferred to a fee-based account”.


FINSUM: This is sort of a suitability/fiduciary rule hybrid type of enforcement. We thought all advisors should be aware that FINRA is on the lookout for this.

(Washington)

Those hoping for a complete end to the DOL’s fiduciary rule should keep their fingers crossed, as despite political pushback, and success on slowing down the rule, the GOP is still working hard to defeat the rule. The newest chance comes in the form of a rider on the current spending bill which is designed to do away with the rule. Previous attempts at doing so have been heavily opposed by Democrats.


FINSUM: We think this one actually has a better chance of getting through. The reason why is that the tide has definitively turned against the DOL rule, and so Democrats may be more willing to give it up as a trade or concession as part of a spending deal.

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