The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday proposed overhauling its conflict-of-interest rules for brokers, a move likely ensuring that Wall Street won’t have to comply with much tougher regulations approved at the end of Barack Obama’s presidency.
SEC Chairman Jay ClaytonPhotographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
At a public meeting in Washington, SEC commissioners led by Chairman Jay Clayton voted 4-1 to seek public comment on a “best interest” obligation for brokers. While the standard is stiffer than existing SEC requirements, it’s not as stringent as the fiduciary duty that forces investment advisers to put clients’ interests ahead of their own.
In 2016, Obama’s Labor Department sought to extend a fiduciary obligation to brokers who offer retirement advice, but those strictures are in limbo after being struck down by a federal appeals court.