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State AGs Urge Court to Expedite Reg BI Oral Arguments

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The seven state attorneys general that have filed suit against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest asked the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on Thursday to expedite oral arguments “as soon as practicable” as Reg BI’s June 30 compliance date nears.

The case brought by the attorneys general of New York,  California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Mexico, Oregon and the District of Columbia has been consolidated with XY Planning Network’s lawsuit against the rule.

Michael Kitces, XYPN co-founder, told ThinkAdvisor on Thursday that XYPN will also be filing a similar request with the court. “We and the states are aligned in wanting to see an outcome to this sooner rather than later (to bring certainty for the industry either way about whether the June 30 effective date is going to happen, or not),” he said.

The uncertainty of a response by the court “added by coronavirus just makes it more uncertain,” Kitces said. “We’re just hoping to impress upon the court the timeliness of this issue to rule upon, especially since [SEC Chairman Jay] Clayton explicitly stated that they will NOT be delaying the Reg BI implementation date itself.”

The states’ Thursday filing notes a similar request made in November. Clayton “has recently confirmed that the implementation date remains June 30 despite the disruptions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the states’ filing says.

“In light of the upcoming implementation date, petitioners are prepared to proceed with oral argument at the Court’s earliest convenience.”

Attorneys for XY Planning Network said in an April 14 brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that the “fundamental purpose” of Reg BI is “to carve up the market for investment advice and introduce new standards to govern the actions and disclosures of broker-dealers as distinct from registered investment advisors.”

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