From the May 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

May 1, 2008

How It Will Affect You

Following are the Treasury Department's intermediate and long-term regulatory restructuring goals that would directly affect investment advisors and broker/dealers.

INTERMEDIATE

Insurance

  • Establish a federal insurance regulatory structure with Optional Federal Charter. This structure is similar to the current dual-chartering system--federal or state--for banking, and would be overseen by a Treasury Office of National Insurance.
  • Establish a federal Office of Insurance Oversight within Treasury to establish a federal presence for international and regulatory issues.
Securities and Futures
  • Merge the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
  • Reform the SEC's process for the securities market by:
  1. adopting core principles for exchanges and clearing agencies;
  2. expediting SRO rule approval;
  3. providing a general exemption under the Investment Company Act for already actively trading exempted products, like ETFs, to improve the new product approval process consistent with SEC investor protection standards;
  4. expand the Act to permit a new global investment company.
  • Institute statutory changes to harmonize the regulation and oversight of broker/dealers and investment advisors offering similar services to retail investors.
  • Make investment advisors subject to a self-regulatory regime similar to that of B/Ds.
LONG-TERM RECOMMENDATIONS

Market Stability Regulator

  • The Federal Reserve's traditional role would be replaced, giving it the responsibility and authority to ensure overall financial market stability by gathering appropriate information, disclosing information, collaborating with the other regulators on rule writing, and taking corrective actions when necessary.
  • The Fed would have the ability to monitor risks across the financial system.
Prudential Regulator
  • This regulator would focus on safety and soundness of firms with federal guarantees, similar to the OCC, but with appropriate authority to deal with affiliate relationship issues.
  • This regulation would be applied to individual firms, and would operate like the current regulation of insured depository institutions.
  • The regulator would oversee firms with explicit government guarantees.

Business Conduct Regulator

  • To eliminate gaps in oversight and provide effective consumer and investor protection, this regulator would monitor business conduct regulation across all types of financial firms, including key aspects of consumer protection such as rule writing for disclosures, business practices, and chartering / licensing of certain types of financial firms.
  • This regulator would subsume most roles of the SEC/CFTC and authority over rules such as mortgage disclosure.
Read the entire Treasury Blueprint, at www.investmentadvisor.com.
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