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Public comments on SEC’s ‘best interest’ rule hit a deadline

Joe Mont | August 7, 2018

Tuesday marks the close of a public comment period for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest, a recasting of the politically imploded fiduciary standards crafted during the Obama administration by the Department of Labor.

Ahead of the Aug. 7 deadline, proponents, opponents, and the not-entirely convinced weighed in with nearly equal parts praise and concern.

On April 18, the SEC proposed a package of proposals—more than 1,000 pages long with 1,800 footnotes—to “address retail investor confusion about the relationships that they have with investment professionals.”

Under the proposed Regulation Best Interest, a broker-dealer making a recommendation to a retail customer would have a duty to act in that customer’s best interest, without putting their own financial or other interests ahead of the client.

Under a “care obligation,” firms and individuals would need to “exercise reasonable diligence, care, skill, and prudence to...

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