Levitt Acknowledges Account-Transfer Problems Says brokers should warn clients about nonportable products.
In a January speech to investors at a town hall meeting in Philadelphia, SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Jr. acknowledged that account transfer problems plague the industry.
Just weeks before his exit from office this month, Levitt made what may be his first public statement about the industry's inaction in fixing the trouble.
"It's become increasingly clear that too many brokers and mutual fund companies are dragging their feet," Levitt said.
He also faulted brokers and firms for not telling investors that some products were not portable.
Levitt urged investors to complain to firms' compliance departments and the SEC when they experience transfer delays.
Account-transfer problems are a recurring difficulty for brokers when they change firms and a top complaint category at the SEC.
In 1999, the agency received 1,642 transfer complaints, up 39% from 1998, making such problems the No. 1 investor beef.
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