Rules In Focus Newsletter

Rules in Focus is FSR’s regulatory newsletter featuring the latest insights from the Fed, CFPB, SEC and other major regulators that oversee the financial services industry and the implementation of the Dodd Frank law.

Rules In Focus: DOL Extension Falls Short of FSR Request

May 21, 2015

After receiving requests from FSR, the industry, and bi-partisan members of the House and Senate , the Department of Labor (DOL) granted a 15-day extension of the comment period for its proposal to redefine the term “investment-advice fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including two new prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) and revisions to four existing PTEs in order to conform them to the proposed rule change.

Rules In Focus: DOL’s Proposal for New Fiduciary Standard Released, Moves to Comment Period

April 16, 2015

On April 14, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-awaited reproposed regulation that would change when a financial professional would be deemed a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Being a “fiduciary” under ERISA triggers a host of statutory prohibitions. As a result, FSR and other industry groups are concerned that an expansion of fiduciary status under the DOL’s regulations may reduce access to financial professionals and investment options for American savers as they prepare for retirement. Critics of the rule are particularly concerned that it will have an especially negative effect on the ability of smaller balance account holders to receive investment advice.

Rules In Focus: FSR Reminds FSOC of its Duty to Act Independently of FSB and IOSCO in Making SIFI Designations

April 2, 2015

In response to a request (Request) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) for information on activities and practices in the asset management industry, the Financial Services Roundtable reminded the FSOC and its member-agencies that they are required to make determinations of whether a particular U.S. non-bank financial institution should be designated as systemically important (i.e., SIFI status) based solely on U.S. law, and independently of any global SIFI designations made by the Financial Stability Board or the International Organisation of Securities Commissions.

Rules In Focus: SEC Chair White Announces Support for Uniform Fiduciary Standard and Third-Party Exams for Investment Advisors

March 26, 2015

In remarks before a SIFMA conference on March 17, SEC Chair Mary Jo White officially announced her support for a uniform fiduciary rulemaking for broker-dealers and registered investment advisers that provide individualized advice concerning investments in securities. Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 authorized the SEC to exercise its discretion in determining whether to pursue rulemaking to implement a uniform standard of care (often referred to as a fiduciary duty).

Rules In Focus: Coalition Urges SEC Chair Mary Jo White to Reinstate Prior Staff Policy on Exclusion of Shareholder Proposals that Conflict with Management Proposals

March 4, 2015

The Financial Services Roundtable recently joined with 16 other sector organiza-tions (the Coalition), which, together, represent a cross-section of the American economy, in drafting an advocacy letter to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White requesting that the SEC reinstate the Division of Cor-poration Finance’s policy of expressing its view on the proposed exclusion of shareholder proposals from the company’s proxy materials pursuant to rule 14a-8(i)(9) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Rule).

Rules In Focus: SEC Holds Roundtable on Proxy Voting

February 19, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced the agenda and panelists for its February 19th roundtable on ways to improve the proxy voting process. The roundtable will be divided into two panels. The panelists are drawn from industry, shareholders, and proxy advisors, and will discuss a variety of issues related to proxy voting.

Rules In Focus: SEC to Hold Roundtable on Proxy Voting

February 4, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will host a roundtable on February 19, 2015, to explore ways to improve the proxy voting process. The roundtable, which will be held at the SEC’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, will focus on universal proxy ballots and retail participation in the proxy process.