Rick Ketchum, CEO of FINRA, said that the regulator will make recommendations at its July board meeting on a proposed rule to require brokers to publicly disclose the compensation they receive when switching firms.
He did not disclose the content of those recommendations in his comments, made during FINRAs annual conference in Washington DC.
The proposed rule seeks to provide more information to clients to help them decide whether or not to continue to work with a broker after they have changed firms. FINRA opened up the proposed rule for comments earlier this year, and large wirehouses including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley lauded the increased transparency a new rule could provide.
Theres value in customers being able to have information and being aware of some of the compensation issues, being able to ask the right kinds of questions, Ketchum said.
The July FINRA board meeting will be just the beginning of the rule-making process. If approved by FINRAs board, the rule must still be approved by the SEC before it would go into effect.
Ketchum also said that FINRA plans to revisit a proposal to require links to advisors public registration profiles on firm and social media websites. FINRA temporarily shelved the initiative in April after firms complained that complying with those rules, particularly on social media, could be problematic.
We think that firms and their comments made valid points with respect to some of the complexities in applying it across social media platforms and a variety of other platforms, Ketchum said. We do expect to come back with a simplified proposal.
Separately, Ketchum said wealth management practices should hold advisors to a fiduciary standard when serving customers, regardless of the status of stalled regulatory action seeking to impose that standard legally.
I dont believe in changing standards on a whim, said Ketchum at this weeks FINRA annual conference in Washington, but I believe any firm [that] is not really thinking about a consistent standard thats equivalent to fiduciary duty is taking its own risk, Ketchum said.
Ketchums comments echoed SEC Commissioner Elisse Walters support for a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisors earlier this week.
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