In an opinion published last Friday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the validity of the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest and rejected the challenge to the rule which had been filed last fall by a group of state attorneys general and several private financial firms. The court did not agree with the plaintiffs’ claim that the Dodd Frank Act required the SEC, if it chose to act, to adopt a standard of conduct for broker-dealers that paralleled the fiduciary standard applicable to investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act.
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SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement June 15 reminding financial firms and advisors of the new, enhanced conduct standards found in Regulation Best Interest. Reg BI requires broker-dealers and their representatives to act in the best interest of their clients when making recommendations, and to not put the firm’s or representatives’s financial interests ahead of the consumer’s.