Several investment industry groups joined forces on July 14 to voice their support for the Obama Administration’s plan for reregulating financial services, and “Investor Protection Act of 2009″ guidelines for legislation that were sent to Congress on July 10.
The group sent a letter to House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) and the ranking member, Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama) noting their “strong support for the proposal in the Administration’s White Paper on financial regulatory reform to subject all those who provide investment advice to a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests.”
The letter takes a strong stand in the debate about whether a strong fiduciary standard duty–which already applies to investment advisors–or a lesser suitability standard–which applies to broker/dealer representatives, would be best for clients: “We share the view that the highest legal standard–a fiduciary duty–should apply to all who give financial advice to clients. Over the years, we have looked on in dismay as brokers have been allowed to offer extensive advisory services, and market their services based on the advice offered, all without having to comply with the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act).”
The group also praised the speed with which of the Obama administration and Treasury has proposed new legislation on financial reform, but tempered that with some concern that part of the plan may not yet be strong enough, cautioning: “we fear it may fall short.”