Voicing concerns of its membership over the “timing, context and size” of FINRA’s proposed fee increases for the broker-dealer industry, the Financial Services Institute (FSI) has submitted a comment letter to the SEC opposing the increases.
FSI President and CEO Dale Brown (left) said in an interview Monday that “everybody in the country, the industry and all FSI members are facing continued challenges” due to the slow economy, but that the timing of the raised fees just adds to the “humongous” cost of compliance for its independent broker-dealer members, especially its smaller firms, and individual financial advisors.
Exacerbating the rising costs of doing business, Brown said, is the “aggravated uncertainty” of the slow pace of Dodd-Frank implementation. “It has a cumulative effect on everybody,” Brown said, but “disproportionately on smaller firms,” which FINRA defines as those BDs with fewer than 150 representatives.
FSI said that 24 of its BD member firms qualify as small firms. FSI has a little over 100 member firms.
In addition to sending its comment letter to the SEC, FSI has also urged its member firms to express their opposition to the proposed fees, which includes higher fees for advertising and sales literature, membership application fees, CRD filing fees and branch office registrations.