August 6, 2010
I have been working for 12 years as a registered representative with New York Life Insurance Company and NYLIFE Securities - my broker dealer. The amount of regulation that has taken place during that time-frame is staggering I must now invade my clients privacy more than ever, due to increased compliance requirements - driver's licenses, "source of funds", proof of citizenship, etc. My clients resent it and I can't say that I blame them.
I am required to submit "1030 Logs" EVERY WEEK on ANY and ALL business that transpires during the previous week. Such documentation requires time and more forms to document EVERY check that comes across my desk from the PREVIOUS WEEK. These reports are cataloged and noted by our General Office's COMPLIANCE OFFICER.
I am required to attend our "FIRM ELEMENT" meeting annually, or have my license suspended. This meeting covers topics such as: a.) suitability, b.) compliance issues, c.) "red flags" concerning money lauderning issues and more. If I don't attend, my license will be suspended I am required now to conduct a complete "suitability" quesionnaire form - such quesions deal with: 1.) time horizon, 2.) objectives, 3.) risk tolerance and more. This is required for EVERY SINGLE APPLICATION THAT I COMPLETE. The additional time, effort and recording of collected information is staggering. And, all of this to complete ONE client's requiest to place their financial assets with a very reputable and highly regarded company in the industry - namely - New York Life Insurance Annuity Corporation and/or NYLIFE Securities.
I am also required, by law, to complete a FINRA "educational" exam every two years. This requires a trip to Spokane, Washington - a 2 1/2 hour trip one-way and completing an exam that again touches on: a.) suitability, b.) knowledge of various products, c.) compliance issues - just to name a few. If I DO NOT COMPLETE this requirement, my securities license will be suspended, making it unlawful for me to even "SUGGEST" a security product - until my license is renewed.
There are enough "safe-guards" in place now. The penalties for infractions and abuses are in place NOW. My urging is that the SEC enforce the RULES and REGULATIONS are already on the books - NO EXCEPTIONS - including Chris Dodd's "kickbacks" from Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac
There is NOT a need for further rules and regulations and fudiciary standards for registered representatives. Again, the increase in compliance-related bookkeeping has escalated to a point that additional time, reporting, personnel hiring, and maintenance is at a nearly unbearable point. Our - New York Life and NYLIFE Securities - standards are tops in the industry. The fact finding, questionnaires, suitability requirements - are all in place and then some.
I DO NOT CHARGE my clients any up-front fees. This is a huge positive item as we can FREELY discuss, AT LENGTH, a client's needs, desires, objectives, goals, and other concerns without the client's concern about a "FEE for Services". A more thorough job can be done - more in depth questioning and "fact-finding" accomplished because the client isn't concerned about the "clock" and receiving a bill following an appointment
I am concerned that the "proposed" rules will only serve to increase my "errors and omissions" insurance which is already DOUBLE my first year in the business.
I am VERY CONCERNED that such RULES only penalize those of us who are doing the PROPER job now. People will continue to abuse rules and laws. What needs to happen is severe, swift and sure penalties for those who break the laws that are NOW on the BOOKS
The rules, laws and compliance requirment issues NOW ON THE BOOKS - as far as NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE is concerned - is bordering on "invasion" of personal privacy. This is repugnant to my clients - even as it stands now. And, in the final analysis - MORE regulation will only increase time and expense to process FORMS and comply to rules. IN FACT - it will do nothing to curtail those who wish to operate outside the law
Please - DO NOT adopt policies which will only cause undue expense, and acutally work against the ability of us who operate within the law, to provide valuable and lawful guidance to the public. Rather, fully prosecute those who willfully and knowingly infringe upon their legal rights and operate outside the law
Gordon D. Schuster, FSS, LUTCF
New York Life Insurance - Agent
37 South Wenatchee Ave. Ste. E.
Wenatchee, WA 98801