FSI: What the Election Results Mean for Our 2013 Advocacy Agenda

The elections are now over and your Financial Services Institute (FSI) now must get to work on behalf of our members to bring about a healthier, more business-friendly regulatory environment for our members to thrive. As we said on election night, we urge President Obama to carefully consider the closeness of the election results, as he evaluates his regulatory policy priorities for a second term.

The next 13 months are critical for our members because, come January 2014, Congress will be back in re-election mode and will not tackle anything that could put their own re-elects in jeopardy. As Washington shifts its collective attention to the fiscal cliff and tax reform, we must remain vigilant in our advocacy efforts. And we need your engagement to ensure our voice is heard in Washington and the states.

Here is what FSI will be fight for on our members’ behalf:

FSI’s High-Level Advocacy Agenda for 2013:

  • Oppose the Department of Labor’s proposal to expand the definition of fiduciary and thereby eliminate financial advisors’ ability to be compensated through commissions on retirement advice they provide to IRA holders and participants in ERISA Covered Plans;
  • Adopt federal legislation that will ensure the ability of independent broker-dealers to classify their registered representatives as independent contractors;
  • Oppose SIPC efforts that are intended to make broker-dealers guarantors of investor losses;
  • Oppose regulatory efforts that will undermine the viability of money market mutual funds;
  • Oppose legislation designed to establish public pensions for private workers; and
  • Oppose efforts to adopt a securities transaction tax.

 

FSI’s Advocacy Agenda for 2013 in Great Detail:

  • Preserve 12b-1 fees to support productive, ongoing relationships between financial advisors and their clients;
  • Support the adoption of an SEC fiduciary standard that limits broker-dealers’ cost & compliance burdens;
  • Support the adoption of a two-tier client disclosure regime that provides investors a very concise pre-engagement disclosure document that is supplemented through disclosures posted to broker-dealer web sites;
  • Encourage FINRA to narrow broker-dealers’ suitability review obligations under Rule 2111;
  • Encourage FINRA to narrow broker-dealers’ supervision and supervisory control obligations under proposed Rule 3110;
  • Support legislation that defines the term “municipal advisor” so as to exclude activities routinely engaged in by independent contractors from the definition;
  • Oppose efforts to subject independent broker-dealers to expensive PCAOB member accounting firm audits;
  • Support FINRA rule changes that will allow financial advisors to expunge matters from their Form U4 when they were not named in a customer-initiated arbitration;
  • Improve securities regulations to limit broker-dealers’ cost and compliance burdens;
  • Oppose legislation and regulation that complicates the supervisory obligations of our member firms;
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key state regulators;
  • Oppose other efforts to impose higher fees, costs and/or expenses on broker-dealers;
  • Encourage the DOL to offer further guidance to broker-dealers on their 408(b)(2) disclosure obligations; and
  • Oppose legislation designed to limit competition in the 403(b) marketplace.
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