Within a month or so, the House Financial Services Committee will begin holding hearings on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) report regarding fiduciary duty, which was mandated under Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act and handed to Congress on Jan. 21.
A draft report of the Committee’s oversight plan for the 112th Congress obtained by Investment Advisor shows that Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the Committee, will be examining the SEC report regarding enhancing advisor examinations and the need to appoint a self-regulatory organization (SRO) for advisors, which was mandated under Section 914 of Dodd-Frank. The draft plan does not mention a specific timeline for a hearing on the Section 914 report. No doubt Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, will hold hearings on the reports as well, as Johnson said recently that Dodd-Frank oversight will be a priority for his Committee during this Congress.
While lawmakers have begun their review of the SEC’s reports on fiduciary duty and an SRO, the lobbying season for advisory trade groups has kicked into high gear. “Spring is going to be quite busy,” says Marilyn Morhman-Gillis, managing director of public policy for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards. The Financial Planning Coalition—which includes the CFP Board, the Financial Planning Association, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)—is “still digesting the [SEC] studies and doing a deep analysis to determine next steps.”
The Coalition, Mohrman-Gillis continues, “will aggressively support the SEC in its recommendation to extend the fiduciary standard of care to broker-dealers, and we will do all we can to make sure that the SEC retains oversight of investment advisers, especially fighting any effort that would lead to a delegation of this core responsibility” to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).