More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Client Communication and Miscommunication RIA policies and procedures must specify what type of communications should be retained. The safest course of action is for RIAs to retain all communicationsto clients, from clients, and about client accounts. To comply with fiduciary obligations, communications must be thorough and not mislead.
- 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.
The European Union will consider whether to impose absolute caps on banker bonuses and restrict them to between three and five times salary, including stock options, though the U.K. is not expected to support such a measure.
Reuters reported Sunday that an EU official said the measure was to be discussed on Monday at a meeting of EU diplomats and lawmakers, as well as a proposal to limit only the cash bonus bankers receive to no more than their salary.
Britain’s Finance Minister George Osborne, who has been outspoken in his efforts to preserve the London’s financial primacy in Europe, is expected to oppose the measure and has already said he would fight any bonus caps proposed by Brussels.
Substantial progress on limiting the pay of bankers has not been made despite the fallout from the financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Despite the crisis and a wave of subsequent financial misdeeds, from LIBOR rigging to massive losses in risky trades, opposition from banks has alleged that such limits would cost them their most talented staff.
The proposal to be discussed Monday would apply an automatic cap of three times salary to bonuses, although an official was quoted saying, "Shareholders could decide to go for five times." Another official said in the report, "There should be a final push so that there is a political agreement at the meeting of finance ministers on December 4." He added that changes to any cap were still possible.
While present EU rules already compel banks to defer up to half the bonus for at least three years, and the EU’s restrictions on bank pay are already tighter than the guidelines from the G20, some countries, such as Germany, want to tighten them still more. The European Parliament is in favor of restricting all the elements of a bonus to total no more than a banker’s basic salary.