Due Diligence

House's Final Proposal On Fiduciary Duty Accepted

Senator Tim Johnson announced this afternoon that the Senate would accept the House's changes to the Senate's counter-offer on the subject of fiduciary duty, which will require an SEC study on the subject, a report in 6 months, and rulemaking, according to statements from Barney Frank. A few minutes after the announcement was made, reporters (including this one) and lobbying groups in Washington were still scrambling to find a copy of the House counter-offer.

Some had speculated that the House conferees would also recommend giving the SEC greater rulemaking authority than the Senate proposal did. Under the Senate proposal (click here to download), the SEC would have been allowed only to provide separate guidance to broker-dealers and investment advisers on a "best interest of the customer" standard. Under the original House language, the SEC would have extended the fiduciary standard to all investment advisors when they provide personalized investment advice, requiring them to put customers best interests "first."

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