Barney Frank to Testify on Dodd-Frank’s Impact 4 Years On

Fiduciary duty rule, user-fees bill likely topics of debate at Wednesday hearing

Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., at TD Ameritrade Institutional Elite Advisor Summit in 2013. Former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., at TD Ameritrade Institutional Elite Advisor Summit in 2013.

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Former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts will testify Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee on his namesake Dodd-Frank Act’s impact four years after being signed into law.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member on the committee, said in a Monday statement that she invited Frank to testify at the hearing, “Assessing the Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Four Years Later.”

Dodd-Frank was signed into law on July 21, 2010. Frank, a Democrat, retired in 2012.

The GOP-led committee has secured four other witnesses.

“I’m pleased Barney has agreed to return to the Committee on the four-year anniversary of Dodd-Frank, to discuss significant progress we have made in protecting consumers, reining in Wall Street and preventing another financial crisis," Waters said in the statement. "I look forward to joining him to refute Republican misrepresentations about the origins of the crisis and the impact of Dodd-Frank.”

A likely topic that will come up during the hearing will be Waters’ bill H.R. 1627, the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act of 2013, which would allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to collect user fees from advisors to help boost the number of advisor exams.

The bill, reintroduced last April has languished in the House until recently. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., agreed Thursday to co-sponsor the bill, a move that advisory groups called “significant.” Bachus is now chairman emeritus of the Financial Services Committee.

Waters had asked Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, to conduct a full committee hearing to discuss ways to boost advisor exams.

Waters’ office said Thursday that Hensarling had not yet responded to her request.

When asked Wednesday whether he would hold such a hearing, Hensarling responded: “I intend to give the request the attention it deserves,” then declined to clarify his response.

The SEC’s efforts to write a uniform fiduciary standard — a move authorized, but not mandated, by Dodd-Frank — may also be a point of debate at the hearing.

The House spending bill that passed Wednesday, which included an amendment barring the SEC from using federal money to write a rule to put brokers under a fiduciary mandate, is likely dead on arrival in the Senate and would likely be vetoed by President Barack Obama.

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Check out House Bar on SEC Fiduciary Rule Likely DOA in Senate on ThinkAdvisor.

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