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Financial Planning > Behavioral Finance

Treasury's Wolin Vows Fight for Broker Fiduciary Duty in Reform Law

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As the House and Senate prepared to begin reconciling their separate financial services reform bills starting on June 8, there are “still real issues at stake” in the conference process, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin told attendees at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) annual conference in Baltimore on Thursday, May 27. “Financial reform is complex,” Wolin said, adding that “the details matter.”

The Administration, Wolin said, will “continue to fight for the strongest financial reform bill possible. And we will oppose any attempts by particular interests to use the conference process as an opportunity to weaken the final bill.”

Wolin said the Administration remained focused on fiduciary duty. “We believe that retail brokers offering investment advice should be subject to the same fiduciary standard of care as investment advisors, and we will work to include that provision in the final bill,” he said. “Clients receiving investment advice don’t distinguish between broker/dealers and investment advisors and neither should the law.”

Fighting for a strong consumer protection agency will also be on the Administration’s agenda, along with working hard to include the so-called “Volcker Rule” provisions, “which would protect taxpayers and depositors by separating “proprietary trading” from the business of banking–and, in addition, would limit the size of financial firms by preventing acquisitions that would result,” Wolin said. The Administration will also fight for “inclusion of the strong rules on conflicts of interest and transparency at credit rating agencies.”


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