The Securities and Exchange Commission has put out its request for information to help it decide whether to impose a uniform standard of care on both investment advisers and broker-dealers that give advice to retail customers. The comment period ends 120 days after the data request, which was issued on March 1, is published in the Federal Register.
Responding to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s Section 913, the SEC conducted a study on the effectiveness of the current standards for investment advisers and brokers. Following its examination, Commission staff recommended that the regulator take part in rulemaking to establish a uniform fiduciary standard for those that provide customized retail investments. However, last year, after then-SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced that the agency was putting together a request for information so it could decide whether to follow this recommendation, the initiative had to be delayed due to a lack of support from other commissioners.
Now, in this latest request request, the Commission was quick to stress that it has yet to decide whether such a rulemaking needs to happen or what one would entail. It also asked for data regarding others areas impacting both investment advisers and brokers that could benefit from harmonization, including business conduct rules, licensing advertising, registration, and books and records.
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