The Securities and Exchange Commission is entering the fiduciary rule debate and seeking the public’s input on standards of conduct for investment advisers and broker-dealers when they provide investment advice to retail investors. The fiduciary rule, which maintains that those who provide retirement investment advice must act in the best interests of their clients, is slated to begin implementation on June 9th.
SEC chairman Jay Clayton issued a request for public comment on a range of questions, noting that significant marketplace developments have occurred since the SEC last solicited information from the public in 2013.
Clayton said that the fiduciary rule could have significant effects on retail investors and entities regulated by the SEC, as well as on the capital markets. He also referenced statements made by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s in his Wall Street Journal op-ed where Acosta detailed his hopes to work with the SEC in the rule making process.
“I welcome the Department of Labor’s invitation to engage constructively as the [SEC] moves forward with its examination of the standards of conduct applicable to investment advisers and broker-dealers, and related matters,” said Clayton. “I believe clarity and consistency — and, in areas overseen by more than one regulatory body, coordination — are key elements of effective oversight and regulation.”
While the official comment period has yet to open, the SEC has created a webform and e-mail address where members of the public can now submit comments. Comments will be posted on the SEC website, and if responding to a specific question, the SEC asks that it be identified in the submission.