WASHINGTON BUREAU – Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee are opposing a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to proceed with development of a uniform fiduciary standard regulation.
A recent SEC study on standard-of-care issues did not provide an adequate basis for changing the existing rules, the Republicans write in a letter to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro.
The committee’s capital markets subcommittee will conduct a hearing soon to give Republicans a chance to air their concerns, the Republicans say.
The letter was signed by Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., and 13 other Republican Financial Services Committee members.
The SEC staff prepared the standard-of-care report to implement Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Today, investment advisors who are giving retail customers personalized investment advice must use a fiduciary standard of care, meaning that they must put customers’ interests ahead of their own. Insurance agents and securities brokers typically use a suitability standard, meaning that must verify that the products sold to customers suit those customers’ needs.
Members of Congress debated whether to impose a fiduciary standard on brokers and
dealers. Instead, they included a provision requiring the SEC to study the issue before proceeding with efforts to develop a regulation.