August 24, 2010
I don't feel that adding yet another layer of compliance responsibility will add to safety of the majority of people out there. Most people in my industry work hard to do what is in our clients best interest. It doesn't serve us to do otherwise. Shady individuals can simply switch to fee based planning to bypass this additional regulation, and would most likely do so. At this time I have to fill out with my clients no less than three documents verifying suitability and why this is in their best interest, accompanied by documentation of how I came to my recommendations. We already have a full staff of compliance officers in our offices, as all our affiliates do. I must complete mandatory ce's, as well as at a minimum at least one annual review of random files with my local compliance officers. Corp. can and will exercise this process with me from a corporate level. Adding more layers simply clutters the process even more, adding staffing and time requirements, which will essentially add to costs that will be passed down to our clients. It's obvious that corruption will occur, no matter how many regulations and policies are put in place. While I want our government agencies to protect me and the general public, at some point people need to take responsibility for themselves. Clients should be engaged in their own planning, and take the time to understand the pro's and con's of what is recommended. If they are not receiving adequate explanations, they should pursue another service provider like myself.
Please carefully consider the specifics of what new legislation will actually result in. Don't make assumptions in the regard that it will solve the problems in today's financial industry. The majority of the fall out in recent years was caused by big banks and the SEC's failure to monitor them. Not the everyday financial services employee.
I can't help but feel that this legislation is simply an over reaction to try and make up for past mistakes.