SEC broker-dealer advice plan seen by industry as `business as usual’ invitation, state regulators say

25 February 2019 9:07am
Broker-dealers including Merrill Lynch, advisers and insurers have already shown an eagerness to exploit the vagueness of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s “Best Interest” plan for investment advice, state regulators said.

Groups representing life and auto insurers, brokers, financial advisers and real-estate investment trusts have lavished praise on the SEC’s proposal to require brokers to consider customers’ best interest in giving advice, the North American Securities Administrators Association said.

“Industry groups have seized upon the SEC’s emphasis to `preserve — to the extent possible — investor choice and access to existing products, services, service providers and payment options’ as an invitation to continue business as usual,” stated the regulators’ letter this week to the SEC.