As a licensed insurance professional who works extensively with variable products, I am writing to you concerning the Suitability standard and Principal Review Requirements pertaining to the sale of variable annuities contained in the NASD proposed rule 2821. Iím concerned because I believe that this proposed rule creates some rules that are redundant, unnecessary and will provide no meaningful additional protection to consumers. Furthermore, it will only serve to adversely impact my business. I urge the SEC to disapprove the proposal.
Having been in this business for nearly 29 years, I have created a long-term and rewarding career. My focus has been on keeping my clients first in all situations. It is therefore, important to me that people who engage in misleading sales practices should be aggressively prosecuted and subject to appropriate sanctions as they only serve to create a negative image for those of us who believe honesty and integrity is essential. The NASD suggests that there are sales problems in the variable annuity market place that warrant this new rule when in fact, unsuitable variable annuity sales made up less than .50% of the NASDís disciplinary actions over the last 5 years. Indeed, complaints about mutual funds and individual securities far out number those concerning variable annuities. Furthermore, the vast majority of the comments received by the NASD and SEC regarding the proposal oppose this new rule and the NASD has not adequately responded to those concerns raised by the vast maj ority of commentators.
Rule 2821 only duplicates current supervision and suitability requirements in place. Would it not be better to protect consumers by appropriately enforcing existing suitability rules rather than adopting a new rule? I donít believe a new rule is the answer.