August 24, 2010
The suitability standard governing broker-dealers and registered representatives is a robust and heavily enforced standard. Current regulations already place enough responsibility on individuals and their employers to provide the best possible customer service.
Most registered representatives do not make specific investment choices for clients, as this is the responsibility of an investment adviser. Because we do not hav the same education, background, training, and responsibilities, it is irresponsible to require similar fiduiary standards.
Compliance costs-both in terms of finances and time-are high, and those costs are eventually felt by clients. Adding another layer of regulation means another layer of compliance, and even more cost to clients. I currently hold an insurance license in the state of California and FINRA 6 63 registrations, which both of continuing education requirements and reporting costs. The additional fiduciary standards will undoubtedly increase these costs. Furthermore, the additional time spent in order to meet these requirements can impair my business any aditional hours spent toward fiducary regulations will negatively affect my ability to help clients.
The bottom line is that the liabilities of a fiduciary duty could mean that my costs and my ability to serve clients will be drastically affected.