August 26, 2010
I support continuing the suitability standard for broker-dealers. The current suitability standard protects customers from the danger of unsuitable sales,is a robust and heavily enforced standard, and the industry has a thouough understanding of its requirements.
Changing the standard at this juncture adds a substantial amount of uncertainty to the sales process with little or no benefit to our customers.
The fiduciary standard will not protect consumers better. Basically, the fiduciary standard looks back and enforces breaches retroactively through SEC enforcement or private lawsuits. The suitability standard looks forward and tries to prevent harm to consumers through ongoing and frequent FINRA and broker-dealer audits and compliance processes.
We are regulated enough. Failure to do so could result in a new liability-ridden fiduciary duty for registered representatives. If not done right the resulting regulation WILL have a very profound impact on how I serve my clients or even whether I will continue to do so.
I've been in my industry for over 43 years.Rest assured, we do not need more regulation. Currently a great amount of time is spent with compliance documentation that could be used to better serve my clients.