Given the unfortunate demise of the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule and the glaring deficiencies in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Regulation Best Interest, we greatly appreciate states such as New Jersey that are willing to step in to fill the regulatory void by providing the protections investors need and expect.
Today, the SEC finalized a rule that will allow financial professionals to claim they are required to act in investors’ best interests. But “Regulation Best Interest” falls far short of what ordinary investors need to ensure they don’t fall prey to self-interested advice.
Every year, American savers lose up to $40 billion because brokers give them bad advice. In spite of this, SEC Chair Jay Clayton has proposed new rules that won’t stop conflicts of interests that lead brokers to rip off their clients. The SEC should protect small investors, not give away the store to Wall Street.
Given the evidence that, after being provided a summary relationship disclosure, investors still cannot fully understand, and in some cases misunderstand, fundamental differences in the nature of the brokerage and advisory relationships and the respective duties they are owed, the different fees they would pay, or how various conflicts of interest can influence the recommendations they receive, a regulatory regime that relies on disclosure for investors to make an informed decision about what type of financial professional to work with and what type of account to use is certain to fail.
News Release: Consumer Groups Criticize SEC Investor-Protection Proposal During Agency Roundtable in Baltimore
The SEC’s proposed “Regulation Best Interest” is anything but, a plan for creating a veneer of investor protection that would fail to chase bad practices out of the industry that cost savers $40 billion per year. Many savers fall victim to brokers who steer them into investments that pay lucrative fees but don’t generate the best possible return for investors.