More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Use and Misuse of Social Media Social media is an inexpensive and effective way to communicate with established and prospective clients. Nevertheless, when RIAs utilize social media to promote their advisory practices, they risk compliance problems for their firms.
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut), Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman, plans to hold a hearing on Wednesday, September 15, to explore the possible expansion of covered bonds in the United States, as well as potential regulatory concerns about covered bonds.
Covered bonds, which have experienced widespread use in Europe, are securities created from either mortgage loans or public sector loans. Sean Davy, a managing director at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), who leads SIFMA's Covered Bond Council, says covered bonds represent a "significant, if not primary, source of funding for mortgages" in Europe. The Bush Administration attempted back in June 2008 to start a covered bond market in the United States, but that attempt failed.
Dodd's hearing on September 15 will be Congress's next stab at exploring the idea of starting a covered bond market in the U.S. Davy with SIFMA says covered bonds are not a "solution" to the crisis surrounding the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)-- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--and will not replace securitization. But covered bonds, he says, are "yet another tool to help fund consumer and corporate loans, and, most importantly, [covered bonds] would be an additional stable source of funding for our banking system. That, in turn, translates into better banks." More stable and healthy banks, he continues, creates a situation where banks are better "able to supply credit to the consumer, and in this environment that's certainly a focal point."