Most Clicked SIFMA SmartBrief Stories

1. Editorial: Obama's fiduciary plan to raise cost of investing

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

President Barack Obama recently pushed a proposal that would subject brokers and other financial professionals who give retirement account advice to a fiduciary standard. The proposal would raise the cost of investing and remove choices for middle-class investors, according to this editorial. Read SIFMA's statement on how the proposed Department of Labor regulation could adversely affect retirement savers. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (02/25)

2. SIFMA raises concerns that fiduciary proposal will harm investors

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 24, 2015

President Barack Obama has directed the Labor Department to move forward with a proposal requiring financial professionals who offer advice on retirement accounts, including brokers, be held to a fiduciary standard. While SIFMA supports a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisors, SIFMA continues to raise concerns about the DOL's approach. "This proposal needs a thorough review as it has the potential to cause a detrimental impact on all American savers and the retirement system as a whole," said SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, J‎r. Administration officials must also consider the fact that the brokerage industry is highly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, including with respect to retirement accounts. Read SIFMA's statement on the DOL retirement regulation proposal. Reuters (02/23) Politico (02/23) USA Today (02/23) Bloomberg (02/23)

3. Sen. Crapo joins critics of FINRA's CARDS

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 26, 2015

Sen. Michael Crapo of Idaho, the second-ranking Republican on the Senate banking committee, has joined critics of a proposal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to collect brokerage data, warning of a loss of investor privacy and potential use by government for surveillance. In a letter to FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum, Crapo cites a survey that says most investors think the cost of the Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System would be greater than the benefit. Read SIFMA's Investor Survey on CARDS. InvestmentNews (free registration) (02/25)

4. Yellen eyes labor market, inflation for interest rate's future

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 25, 2015

With the U.S. job market still gaining strength and inflation too low, the Federal Reserve is not yet ready to raise interest rates from near-zero levels, Janet Yellen, head of the central bank, told the Senate banking committee as she delivered the Fed's semiannual economic report. Investors were pleased to hear Yellen say the Fed will be patient on rates as the economy continues to improve. Yellen also said if major banks' living wills fail to meet regulators' standards, they will be rejected. Politico Pro (subscription required) (02/24) Politico Pro (subscription required) (02/24) Bloomberg (02/24) Reuters (02/24)

5. House approves expanded college savings plan

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 26, 2015

The House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday expanding qualified expenses for college savings accounts, also known as 529 plans. President Barack Obama had dropped a proposal to eliminate tax breaks for the savings accounts. Visit SIFMA's 529 Savings Plans Resource Center. Hill, The (02/25)

6. SEC adopts FINRA rule on public arbitrators

SIFMA SmartBrief | Mar 02, 2015

A proposal by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to restrict individuals in securities disputes from being public arbitrators has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Anyone who has worked in the financial industry would be deemed a nonpublic, or industry, arbitrator. Previously, that person would be reclassified a public arbitrator five years after leaving the industry. "This classification change represents the latest in a series of rule changes aimed at raising the political correctness rating of the forum's roster at the cost of competence and adequacy of coverage," said Rick Ryder of the Securities Arbitration Commentator. InvestmentNews (free registration) (02/27)

7. N.Y. regulator proposes rules against money laundering

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 26, 2015

Senior bank executives could be required to personally vouch for efforts against money laundering, says Benjamin Lawsky, New York's superintendent of financial services. He also says banks should receive a warranty from vendors indicating that the latter has a cybersecurity system. (free content) (02/25) Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (02/25)

8. Identifying muni bonds as HQLA in the works, Yellen says

SIFMA SmartBrief | Feb 27, 2015

Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve, told members of a House committee that the central bank is working to identify municipal bonds that could count as high-quality liquid assets. "We're working very expeditiously on that, and hope to be able to identify some of those bonds that would qualify for ... different [liquidity coverage ratios] treatment," Yellen said. "We're in discussions with the other banking agencies." Bond Buyer (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief), The (02/26)

9. Regulators seen getting more specific on cybersecurity

SIFMA SmartBrief | Mar 02, 2015

Regulators are becoming more specific in how to fight cybercrime, write Jennifer Archie, Kevin Boyle and Vivian Maese. A guide published in October by SIFMA, "Principles for Effective Cybersecurity Regulatory Guidance," offers suggestions for cybersecurity regulation. "What the SIFMA principles really do is bring to the forefront the importance of the interconnectedness of that securities ecosystem," Maese notes. Learn more at SIFMA's Cybersecurity Resource Center. (02/27)

10. IEX hires former NYSE exec as it moves to become exchange

SIFMA SmartBrief | Mar 02, 2015

IEX Group has hired Claudia Crowley, a former New York Stock Exchange executive, as chief regulatory officer. She's been a consultant for IEX as it prepares its regulatory filing for the exchange it plans to operate by the third quarter. Reuters (03/02)

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