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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

FPA Calls for Major Regulatory Reform

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In a long, comprehensive comment letter filled with references to the history of financial regulation in the United States, the Financial Planning Association told the Treasury Department on Nov. 16 that it agreed with Treasury’s plans to review the current financial regulatory structures, “along with ways to improve efficiency, reduce overlap, and strengthen consumer and investor protections.”

The letter came in response to Treasury’s Oct. 11 call for comments on its proposed review, part of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s stated initiative to improve the global competitiveness of the U.S. financial services industry.

FPA noted in its comment letter that “regulatory reform for advice-givers is long overdue,” and stressed its position that while there has been a long, “steady increase in firms offering comprehensive advice to the public . . . that cuts across regulatory lines,” the problem is that those firms are operating under “inconsistent standards of care.”

It thus reiterated its position that financial planners and “others who hold out as financial experts or who provide material elements of financial planning to their clients should be held to a fiduciary standard.”

Treasury is planning to develop by early in 2008 a so-called “blueprint” for a more effective regulatory structure for the industry. Nov. 21 was the final day to submit comments.