Nearly a year after saying it would, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday published its request for public comment on its rule to put brokers under a fiduciary mandate.
In releasing the request, SEC Chairwoman Elisse Walter said that “studies have shown that few investors realize that the standard of care they receive depends on the type of investment professional they use. And often investors do not know which type of financial professional they are relying on.” This request for information, she said, “will help us in our ongoing consideration of alternative standards of conduct for certain broker-dealers and investment advisers, as well as potential harmonization of other aspects of regulation in this area.”
The request comes just days after Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee criticized the SEC for moving forward with its fiduciary rule, calling the rule a “misplaced priority.”
However, Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., told Walter during a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing to “push” the fiduciary rule, as he believes “it should be a priority because it is a benefit to investors.”
Specifically, the SEC says it is requesting data and other information from the public and interested parties about the “benefits and costs” of the current standards of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisors when providing advice to retail customers, as well as alternative approaches to the standards of conduct.
While the SEC says it is particularly interested in receiving “empirical and quantitative data and other information, all interested parties are encouraged to submit comments, including qualitative and descriptive analysis of the benefits and costs of potential approaches and guidance.”