Financial industry experts testified Friday before the House Financial Services Committee and provided comment on the Obama Administration's proposed financial regulatory reforms.
Among other noted speakers, Paul Schott Stevens, president of the Investment Company Institute and Diahann W. Lassus, president of Lassus Wherley & Associates on behalf of the Financial Planning Coalition made comment on such reforms.
While Stevens, in a prepared testimony, commended the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency envisioned by the Obama Administration for its provision to not have authority with respect to "investment products and services already regulated by the SEC and [the Commodity Futures Trading Commission]," Lassus argued a standard of care and accountability must be established and maintained by all professionals in the financial planning industry.
"No single law governs the delivery of financial planning advice to the public," Lassus said in a prepared testimony. "The byproduct of this is a patchwork regulatory scheme where financial planners currently maintain as many as three different licenses--insurance, brokerage, and investment adviser--with different standards of care and accountability to consumers."
"Our goal is to have all financial intermediaries who offer broad-based financial advice subjected to the high standards of a fiduciary," Lassus continues. "We are working with a group of organizations that represent diverse interests and constituencies to support this concept. We all share the view that the highest legal standard--the fiduciary duty--should apply to all who give financial advice to clients."