SIFMA officials are optimistic the SEC will develop its own fiduciary rule proposal during the 18 months that full implementation of the Labor Department’s existing rule has been delayed.
“I think they can get it down if they want to,” said SIFMA President and CEO Ken Bentsen, at a press conference in New York, about the state of the financial services industry.
(Related: DOL Ready to Enforce Fiduciary Rule: Acosta)
“I think they’re committed to doing this,” added Bentsen, recalling conversations he’s had with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and public statements by the two officials. “That is different than in the prior administration where the commission felt they had to stand aside.
“We take the chairman at his word that this is one of his top priorities to get this done … that the conversation between the commission and the Department of Labor has been substantive, that they recognize that there has to be much more interaction, interoperability among any standards and that multiple standards unnecessarily is not a good outcome.”
In the meantime Bentsen said SIFMA lawyers anticipate a ruling from the appellate court about a lawsuit opposing the Labor fiduciary rule on the grounds that the department overreached and the SEC is the agency with jurisdiction to develop a uniform fiduciary standard. SIFMA is one of multiple plaintiffs in the lawsuit, who lost the first round in a decision by the U.S. District Court in Texas, then appealed.