As President Obama prepares to deliver the State of the Union address, the Financial Planning Coalition – comprising Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) – urges the President to fulfill the promise of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by making investor protection part of his “year of action for the American people.”
Despite historic reform and an economy that has shown steady improvement since the 2008 financial crisis, President Obama’s efforts to improve investor protection remain a work in progress. We are optimistic the President will use his State of the Union address to outline his plan for ensuring that no American will ever again be exposed to the predatory and deceptive practices that devastated so many families and brought our nation to the brink of financial collapse.
We do, however, applaud the President and his Administration for working throughout the past year to elevate consumer and investor protection. In particular, the promising work by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) demonstrates the progress the Administration has made on these crucial issues – from protecting consumers during the mortgage-borrowing process to helping seniors and their families distinguish among the multitude of confusing financial designations.
Despite the fact that the financial security of many Americans remains at risk, some policymakers continue to resist implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act – three and one-half years after enactment – and instead propose further impediments to these reforms designed to protect the investing public.
To enhance investor protection for all Americans, the President and his Administration should act promptly to:
- Call upon the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to extend a uniform fiduciary standard to broker-dealers who provide personalized investment advice to retail clients, and
- Encourage Congress to authorize the SEC to collect user fees from the industry to fill the gap in SEC funding necessary to effectively examine SEC-registered investment advisers, who manage approximately $48 trillion of American investors’ assets each year.
As consumers are called upon to take increasingly more responsibility for their financial well-being, the President and Administration have an obligation to ensure that the financial advice Americans receive is always in their best interests. We urge President Obama to work with Congress, the SEC, the Department of Labor, and other parties to restore trust in our capital markets by appropriate regulation and oversight of those who provide financial advice to American investors and to fulfill the investor protection goals sets forth under the Dodd-Frank Act.”
About the Financial Planning Coalition
The Financial Planning Coalition, a group representing over 75,000 stakeholders, is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) formed to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency. To learn more, please visit www.FinancialPlanningCoalition.com