The Financial Services Institute is claiming victory in its legislative fight “to protect investors’ access to affordable, independent financial advice.”
The legislation in question, signed into law late Friday by Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, makes it a “notice-filing state” for branch office applications. The law makes it easier for advisors to make changes to their business, no longer forcing them to close for the application process, which would cost them revenue and clients.
While this pertains to Florida, FSI says the implications are nationwide, since it affects every financial services firm with affiliated financial advisors in Florida, regardless of where the firm is headquartered. FSI worked closely with Rep. Dane Eagle (R-77) and Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-22) in crafting this legislation.
“This law is another historic step forward for FSI members, who have united once again to affect positive change,” FSI President and CEO Dale Brown said in a statement. “We applaud the elected officials and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, who all came together with our members to make a positive difference. This is exactly how government/private partnerships should work to serve our mutual constituencies. And it shows how much FSI’s members can accomplish when they work together and speak with one voice.”
Some scenarios of when advisors need to re-file, or file for the first time, which would cause the delays include:
1.) When an advisor changes broker-dealer affiliation
2.) When an advisor moves his current office address to another address
3.) When a firm operating in another state wants to open a new branch office in Florida
4.) When a firm already operating in Florida opens a new branch office
The new law places the filing system online and mandates approval be automatic, keeping the advisor working and protecting clients’ access to their advice.
After working with the Office of Financial Regulation to find common ground on the legislation language, FSI agreed to language that makes Florida a notice-filing state, but allows the OFR to require broker-dealers to resolve deficiencies in their filing within 30 days.
Check out Florida’s Notice-Filing Legislation Affects Advisors Nationwide on AdvisorOne.