SEC Study Backs Fiduciary Standard

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A Securities and Exchange Commission study recommends that the same fiduciary standard be applied to brokers and financial advisers, according to a published media report.

But the SEC's two Republican members said the study doesn't present enough evidence to support that conclusion, according to the report, published Saturday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.

At issue is whether brokers should be held to the same fiduciary standard that already governs investment advisers, requiring them to put their clients' interests before their own. Currently, brokers must only make sure that the products they sell are suitable for clients, the report added.

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The Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed last year says that the SEC can hold brokers to the fiduciary duty standard, the report noted.

The two Republican commissioners -- Kathleen Casey and Troy Paredes -- said they weren't opposed to establishing a common fiduciary standard for brokers and advisers, but they want the commission to do more work to demonstrate such a change wouldn't hurt investors, the report added.

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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