This article originally appeared on FA Magazine by Tracey Longo.
A number of former regulators and current policy experts asked the Securities and Exchange Commission today to revise Form CRS (customer relationship summary) to include not only “plain English,” but also actual average expense and compensation disclosure requirements.
“The form is a widely-accepted failure in terms of how advisors differ from brokers,” said Institute President Knut Rostad. To fix it, the Institute is recommending a new two-page Form CRS and a mandatory letter that reps and advisors would be required to give to prospective customers detailing for the first time the actual average expenses and commissions or fees the investor will be charged.
“Investors have the right to know what this service or product is going to cost,” Rostad said. “It’s important to note that in any other industry, actual costs are disclosed. It’s only in broker-dealer sales and trading where the issue of what something will cost is permitted to be so hidden.”
Aron Szapiro, Head of Policy Research at Morningstar, Inc, said the firm “supports the Institute’s proposals for fee disclosures. Morningstar believes investors deserve clear, comparable, standardized disclosures listing advisory fees, commissions, loads, and any other relevant fees. For recommendations of a portfolio of mutual funds, brokers and RIAs should provide investors with the asset-weighted average expense ratio in addition to fund-specific expenses,” Szapiro said.
Rostad said he is in the process of requesting a meeting with SEC Chairman Gary Gensler and staff to press the Institute’s request for Form CRS revisions. While Gensler has told Congress that he intends to enforce Reg BI and by extension Form CRS as written, Rostad said he believes significant improvements can be made without extensive revisions.
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Read the full article on FA Magazine.