“A bipartisan bill now moving through Congress could prevent losses from fraud in the future by giving financial advisors a mandate to regulate themselves,” Spencer Bachus writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece on Monday.
Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, then slams federal regulators “whose job is to enforce the law and protect investors from bad actors,” saying they “often had no clue or took no notice of what was going on right under their noses until it was too late.”
“Bernie Madoff. Matthew Hutcheson. Mark Spangler. If these names don’t ring a bell, you are lucky,” he writes. “Reports indicate that thousands of investors lost billions in savings—in some cases an entire lifetime’s worth—investing with these financial planners, investment advisors or ‘retirement coaches’ who were accused of breaking the law and taking their money.”
Bachus notes that while average American investors may not fully understand the different titles that investment professionals use, they assume there is government oversight protecting their savings from fraud.
“When you contract with a licensed broker-dealer to buy and sell stocks or commodities, there is a reasonable level of oversight, as broker-dealers face examinations of the accounts they manage on a regular and consistent basis.”