Treasury Sends Fiduciary Standard Legislation to Hill

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The text of the Treasury recommendation regarding fiduciary duty follows:
"SEC. 913. ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIDUCIARY DUTY FOR BROKERS, DEALERS, AND INVESTMENT ADVISERS, AND HARMONIZATION OF THE REGULATION OF BROKERS, DEALERS, AND INVESTMENT ADVISERS.

(a) AMENDMENT TO SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.--Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:

"(k) STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Commission may promulgate rules to provide, in substance, that the standards of conduct for all brokers, dealers, and investment advisers, in providing investment advice about securities to retail customers or clients (and such other customers or clients as the Commission may by rule provide), shall be to act solely in the interest of the customer or client without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker, dealer or investment adviser providing the advice.

"(l) OTHER MATTERS.--The Commission shall--

"(1) take steps to facilitate the provision of simple and clear disclosures to investors regarding the terms of their relationships with investment professionals; and

"(2) examine and, where appropriate, promulgate rules prohibiting sales practices, conflicts of interest, and compensation schemes for financial intermediaries (including brokers, dealers, and investment advisers) that it deems contrary to the public interest and the interests of investors.".

(b) AMENDMENT TO INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940.--Section 211 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-11) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:

"(f) STANDARDS OF CONDUCT.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities and Exchange Commission may promulgate rules to provide, in substance, that the standards of conduct for all brokers, dealers, and investment advisers, in providing investment advice about securities to retail customers or clients (and such other customers or clients as the Commission may by rule provide), shall be to act solely in the interest of the customer or client without regard to the financial or other interest of the broker, dealer, or investment adviser providing the advice.

"(g) OTHER MATTERS.--The Commission shall--

"(1) take steps to facilitate the provision of simple and clear disclosures to investors regarding the terms of their relationships with investment professionals, including consultation with other financial regulators on best practices for consumer disclosures, as appropriate; and

"(2) examine and, where appropriate, promulgate rules prohibiting sales practices, conflicts of interest, and compensation schemes for financial intermediaries (including brokers, dealers, and investment advisers) that it deems contrary to the public interest and the interests of investors.".

SEC. 914. CLARIFICATION OF COMMISSION AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE INVESTOR DISCLOSURES BEFORE PURCHASE OF INVESTMENT COMPANY SHARES.

Section 24 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80a-24) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(h) TIMING OF DISCLOSURE.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act or the Securities Act of 1933, the Commission is authorized to promulgate rules designating documents or information that must precede a sale to a purchaser of securities issued by a registered investment company.".

Subtitle B--Enforcement and Remedies

SEC. 921. AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT MANDATORY PRE-DISPUTE ARBITRATION.

(a) AMENDMENT TO SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934.--Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78o) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(m) AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT MANDATORY PRE-DISPUTE ARBITRATION.--The Commission, by rule, may prohibit, or impose conditions or limitations on the use of, agreements that require customers or clients of any broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer to arbitrate any future dispute between them arising under the federal securities laws or the rules of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that such prohibition, imposition of conditions, or limitations are in the public interest and for the protection of investors.".

(b) AMENDMENT TO INVESTMENT ADVISERS ACT OF 1940.--Section 205 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. 80b-5) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

"(f) AUTHORITY TO RESTRICT MANDATORY PRE-DISPUTE ARBITRATION.--The Commission, by rule, may prohibit, or impose conditions or limitations on the use of, agreements that require customers or clients of any investment adviser to arbitrate any future dispute between them arising under the federal securities laws or the rules of a self-regulatory organization if it finds that such prohibition, imposition of conditions, or limitations are in the public interest and for the protection of investors."."

For the entire Treasury text, click here.

Kate McBride (kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com) is editor in chief of Wealth Manager.

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