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Regulators Announce Joint Suitability Project

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National financial regulators are uniting to collect descriptions of the strongest practices that financial services firms use when making sure that the products seniors buy are suitable for those seniors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is working on the suitability practices project with the North American Securities Administrators Association, Washington, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Washington.

The organizations hope to gather and publish descriptions of “best practices” in areas such as account opening procedures, relationship reviews and efforts to discern and meet the changing needs of aging customers, officials say.

“The goal of the initiative is not to impose new regulatory requirements, but to help firms better meet their current obligations to, as well as more generally to serve, their senior customers,” officials at the organizations say in a statement about the project.

The new initiative is part of an ongoing effort to protect seniors from buying unsuitable securities.