August 26, 2010
The premise behind the effort to impose a legal fiduciary standard on broker dealers and their registered representatives is based on the perception that the legal fiduciary duty governing investment advisers provides greater investor protection than the suitability standard governing broker-dealers. I strongly disagree that the fiduciary standard has protected 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.
I hold a Series 6, 7 24 as well as a life/health insurance license. My continuing education and regulatory audits are on-going functions.
The suitability standard governing broker-dealers and registered representatives is a robust and heavily enforced standard. We do not need yet another layer of regulation to an already over-regulated industry.
I urge you not to impose a misguided, badly thought out, fiduciary standard on broker-dealers and their registered representatives.