SIFMA released its response to a data request by the SEC to help inform the agency's cost-benefit analysis of a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers under Dodd-Frank Section 913. For the first time, the industry provided estimates on the cost of complying with a uniform fiduciary standard. In its letter, SIFMA: Stated its support for a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct, though it also stated that such a uniform standard must take account of the fact that broker-dealers provide a different service to customers than to investment advisers (e.g., broker
SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. issued a statement regarding the decision by the Department of Labor ("DOL") to delay its August 2014 fiduciary rule until at least January 2015. In his statement, Mr. Bentsen said that, from day one, the fiduciary rule has been a "troubled proposal" that would harm the ability of American investors and small business owners. Mr. Bentsen asserted that the DOL's actions "undermine the SEC's work to improve upon the standard of conduct owed by broker-dealers and investment advisers to retail clients." See: SIFMA Statement.
SIFMA and 16 other financial services trade associations (the "Associations") provided comments to the Department of Labor ("DOL") in which they requested an extension to the comment period for a proposed conflict of interest rule (the "Proposal"). The Associations explained that the Proposal comprises a "voluminous" amount of information, including elaborate new rules and "a host of detailed changes to existing and widely-used exemptions." The Associations argue that the industry will need time to assess their ability to comply with the conditions of the exemptions, which will require
The House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing titled "Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families and Retirees." The hearing examined the proposal by the Department of Labor ("DOL") to expand the definition of "fiduciary," and discussed how the proposed rule would impact workers, small businesses and retirees. The following witnesses testified: Panel 1: The Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of the Department of Labor (written testimony) Panel 2: Mr. Jack Haley, Executive VP
The American Council of Life Insurers ("ACLI") submitted a statement to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee criticizing the Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary duty rule. The ACLI statement was submitted at a Subcommittee hearing titled "Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families and Retirees." According to ACLI, the Department of Labor's proposed fiduciary rule will "restrict activities that encourage low-to-moderate-income Americans to save, stifle the formation of small business workplace benefit plans, and