SEC Chair Mary Jo White

SEC Chair Mary Jo White

SEC Remains Undecided on Fate of Fiduciary Standard

The Securities Exchange Commission remains undecided on whether or how to move forward on a uniform fiduciary standard, despite a game plan outlined earlier this year by Chair Mary Jo White that aimed to have a decision by the end of the year.

“The commission has not made a decision whether to do something or what to do. But I think in the short term, there will be more clarity on that as to my own decision,” White said Monday during the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s Annual Meeting.

Speaking before the House Financial Services Committee in April, White told Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) that "it is a priority of mine to have the commission reach a decision on this very important issue in this year,” White said. 

Despite the lack of progress, White stressed it remains a high priority for the commission.

“There’s very diverse views on this and the inquiry on what to do doesn’t end with saying ‘let’s have a uniform fiduciary duty,” White added. 

The complexity is the biggest stumbling block for the SEC, White says. “Care needs to be taken to ensure we’re not harming investors by driving away service providers in the brokerage space,” White added. 

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