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October 29, 2013

The Retail Investor Protection Act (H.R. 2374) will be voted on by the House this week. The Bill addresses Dodd-Frank Section 913 ("Study and Rulemaking Regarding Obligations of Brokers, Dealers and Investment Advisers"), which permits (but does not require) the SEC to issue rules that extend fiduciary responsibilities which currently apply to investment advisers to broker-dealers. H.R. 2374 would require the SEC to consider all other options before moving forward on a fiduciary standard for broker-dealers. The bill would further require the SEC to identify if expanded fiduciary standards

June 18, 2014

Over the past two days, two Senate subcommittees held separate hearings on the topic of high-frequency trading ("HFT") in the U.S. equity markets. On Tuesday, June 17, the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations held a hearing titled "Conflicts of Interest, Investor Loss of Confidence, and High-Speed Trading in U.S. Stock Markets." The hearing focused on how brokers' incentives resulting from exchanges' maker-taker fee structures and payment for order flow clashed with brokers' duty of best execution to their customers. The hearing was conducted by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Ron

May 01, 2015

The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing titled, "Oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority," which examined FINRA's oversight of financial markets. FINRA CEO and Chairman Richard Ketchum was the sole witness at the hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Ketchum stated that FINRA will not move forward with its Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System ("CARDS") proposal until it determined that concerns raised by market participants were addressed adequately. SIFMA's Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Ira D. Hammerman, issued a statement commending FINRA for

December 21, 2015

U.S. House Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL), Richard Neal (D-MA), Phil Roe (R-TN) and John Larson (D-CT) introduced legislation that would require the DOL to receive congressional approval before implementing a final fiduciary rule. The legislation also outlines an alternative standard to the DOL's fiduciary proposal in the combined proposals of the "Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support Act" (the "SAVERS Act of 2015") (H.R. 4294) and the "Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act" (the "ARAP Act") (H.R. 4293). According to the representatives, "the proposals

February 12, 2016
Commentary by Steven Lofchie

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) argued that "insurers and financial firms provide much more optimistic assessments when they speak to their own investors" than in their "dire and unsupported public predictions and official comments to the Department of Labor about the impact of the proposed Conflicts of Interest rule."