Rep. Maxine Waters is pushing an amendment to block funding that the Securities and Exchange Commission needs to implement its newly enacted Regulation Best Interest rule.
The House Rules Committee last night accepted the amendment for House floor consideration. The proposed amendment to the House appropriations bill could see a vote as early as today.
A vocal critic of the SEC and Reg BI, Waters had previously called the rule a failure, arguing that it did not provide a uniform fiduciary standard needed to protect retail investors.
Waters, D-Calif., criticized Reg BI as the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee during a March hearing on the proposed rule. After the rule was adopted on June 5, Waters said it failed to protect investors.
“The SEC’s final rule ignores the explicit will of Congress and fails to require all financial professionals to abide by a strong, uniform fiduciary standard of care when providing investors with investment advice,” Waters said.
“Hardworking Americans have lost out on millions of dollars that could have been used to save for their children’s education, purchase a home, or save for retirement due to unscrupulous financial advisers who have put their interests and profit motives ahead of their retail clients,” she said. “Today’s announced rule will only protect this conflicted behavior to the detriment of mom and pop investors.”
So far, one industry group has opposed Waters’ Amendment. In a statement, the Insured Retirement Institute said:
IRI opposes Rep. Waters’ amendment. We believe that Regulation Best Interest should move forward and be given time to work. The just-approved regulation will offer a substantial enhancement to investor protections over current law. The new requirements on industry are considerable and the existing enforcement mechanisms applicable to Reg BI are rigorous. Additionally, Reg BI and parallel efforts at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners offer an opportunity for regulatory harmonization. This is particularly important as a number of states pursue standard of conduct regulations that threaten to impose a patchwork of confusing, conflicting requirements that may harm consumers’ ability to obtain services to help them reach their financial goals.
AdvisorNews Managing Editor Cassie Miller may be reached at cassie.miller@Adnewsfeedback.com. Cassie has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. Follow her on Twitter @ANCassieM.