Originally published on Bloomberg News
By Benjamin Bain and Robert Schmidt
Wall Street is finally getting tougher rules that crack down on industry conflicts of interest. Bankers are hardly sweating it.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to approve new requirements next week for selling stocks, bonds and other assets after brokers fended off the government’s attempts to restrict shady practices for almost a decade. But investor advocates are concerned the regulations fall short of what’s needed to prevent firms from taking advantage of clients, a worry underscored by the industry’s support of the SEC’s effort.
Knut Rostad, the president of the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, said the new SEC rules will give investors a false impression that brokers are being held to higher standards.
“This is all a big runaround,” said Rostad, whose group advocates for strict codes of conduct for financial professionals. “Brokers for the first time will be able to look clients in the face and say we are required by law to put your interests first.”
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