Articles Tagged with FSI

According to an InvestmentNews poll, 58.7% of 293 advisers who responded to a recent survey support the option of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charging user fees to defray the costs of increased examinations. This is an increase from a year ago when only 27.8% of 335 responding advisers supported the user fee approach. The poll also concluded that 74.7% of advisers said they oppose permitting the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) from becoming the self regulatory organization (SRO) for advisers.

The increased willingness of advisers to pay user fees suggests that there could be more support for the bill soon to be introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that would authorize the SEC to charge user fees for advisers to cover or defray the costs of examinations. Rep. Waters’s bill would combat the SRO bill introduced by Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Al) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
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The Financial Services Institute (FSI) Chair, Joe Russo, recently released a letter stating that the FSI supports the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as the new self-regulatory organization (SRO) for investment advisers. Russo stated that the FSI has conducted two polls of its financial adviser members to determine whether they support FINRA as the SRO and 75% agreed that FINRA should become the SRO.

FSI has been asked by a number of critics why it has not advocated repealing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In response, FSI says that the act will likely not be repealed as a practical matter. Therefore, FSI has decided to focus its legislative efforts on securing for its members the least intrusive of the three options for investment adviser regulation posed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Those options are (1) the SEC charging user fees to fund more examiners, (2) FINRA becoming the dual SRO for broker-dealers and investment advisers, or (3) creating a new SRO.
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As a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a non-partisan investigative agency of Congress, conducted a study which criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The purpose of the study was to determine how the SEC has conducted its oversight of FINRA, including the effectiveness of FINRA rules, and how the SEC plans to enhance its oversight.

The GAO found that both the SEC and FINRA do not conduct retrospective reviews of the impact of FINRA’s rules. As a result, the GAO believes that “FINRA may be missing an opportunity to systematically assess whether its rules are achieving their intended purpose and take appropriate action, such as maintaining rules that are effective and modifying or repealing rules that are ineffective or burdensome.” The GAO also noted that the SEC does not conduct sufficient oversight over FINRA’s governance and executive compensation. The SEC has responded to the survey by saying that it is focused primarily on oversight of FINRA’s regulatory departments, which the SEC claims has the biggest impact on investors.
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