Insurance News Net: SEC Should Have Been The Agency to Deal With Fiduciary, Ex-Chief Says

InsuranceNewsNet reporter John Hilton writes:

Former Securities and Exchange Commissioner Paul S. Atkins expressed disappointment this morning with Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s initial handling of the controversial fiduciary rule.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last month, Acosta announced that he would permit the fiduciary rule to take effect, which happened at 11:59 p.m. June 9.

This week’s agenda at the Insured Retirement Institute’s Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference is heavily tilted toward the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.  Atkins tried “a Hail Mary pass” to get Acosta to take a harder line on the June 9 deadline, but the secretary wasn’t swayed.

Still, “there are all sorts of ways he can delay it,” Atkins said, referring to Phase II of the rule, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018. “My question is what is he going to do with regards to the lawsuits? I hope that the secretary has a plan and (it) is not actually evident to me that he does.”

Atkins is chief executive officer of Patomak Global Partners, a financial services consultant. The SEC is the right agency to handle any fiduciary rule, he said, but is sadly bogged down in politically motivated 3-2 votes.

Prior to 1999, the SEC rarely had the 3-2 party line votes you see with regularity nowadays, Atkins said.

“The SEC should have been the one to approach this from the beginning, not the DOL,” he said.

Read the full story here.