The road to a uniform fiduciary standard, if there will be one, remains long.
The list of options that the Securities and Exchange Commission will consider in crafting a uniform fiduciary standard for brokers and advisors is still being developed, Stephen Luparello, head of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, told lawmakers Thursday, and once that list is solidified the agency may request feedback on those options.
Luparello also told members of the House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee that SEC staffers are weighing the benefits versus the costs of a fiduciary rulemaking.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White told ThinkAdvisor in a mid-April interview that if the agency decided to move forward with a fiduciary rule, “there are a number of ways to do that.” White directed SEC staff to compile a list of options.
The development of that list is “still in process,” Luparello said in response to a question from Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
Luparello said in his Thursday testimony at a hearing titled “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets” that his division is working with the divisions of Economic and Risk Analysis and Investment Management “to evaluate potential [fiduciary rulemaking] options, in light of the information available, for the commission’s consideration.”
Luparello cited the SEC’s request last March for feedback on the potential impacts a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct, or other regulatory approaches, may have on retail investors and how any negative impacts could be mitigated.
When asked by Wagner about the results of that request, Luparello responded that the “level of information was less than” staff had anticipated, adding that a “new round” of data requests may be needed once a fiduciary options list is completed.