A top official at the National Association of Securities Dealers says his group wants to take a closer look at sales of annuities.[@@]
NASD Chairman Robert Glauber talked about NASD annuity sales rules Friday in New York at a conference organized by the Securities Industry Association, New York.
Glauber talked about the need to create a level playing field for the mutual fund companies by ensuring that sales of other, competing products are subject to similar sales and disclosure rules.
“Harmonization of rules governing the sales of similar products is a matter of fundamental fairness,” Glauber said at the SIA conference, according to a written version of his remarks. “Investors have a right to expect a level playing field when they’re examining and comparing products that are close substitutes for each other.”
Glauber said the NASD needs to start looking at fixed annuities, variable annuities and equity-indexed annuities, exchange-traded funds and some other products, such as separately managed accounts, to ensure that investors are as well-protected from abuses when they buy those products as they are when they buy mutual funds.
The NASD already has proposed a rule establishing specific suitability and supervision requirements for variable annuities, Glauber said.
The NASD also has encouraged sales representatives registered with the NASD to treat equity-indexed annuities as if they are securities, even though it is not clear whether EIAs are always securities, Glauber said.