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More Firms Adopt Broker-Dealer Fee Disclosure Template

Fidelity Investments and Prudential Financial are among financial firms that have adopted and are in the process of implementing a model fee disclosure template and guidelines to help retail investors better understand and compare various broker-dealer fees. A working group convened by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) developed the model fee disclosure schedule and guidelines in 2014 to make fee disclosure easily accessible and simple for retail investors to understand and compare fees. The model fee table should include all miscellaneous account and service fees, including account maintenance fees. The table does not include commissions, mark-ups, commission equivalents, or advisory fees. In 2015, NASAA conducted a survey of U.S. investors to determine investor awareness of brokerage service and maintenance fees and to determine investors’ preferences regarding the accessibility and clarity of fee disclosure. That survey found that there was a need for enhanced fee disclosure; brokerage service and maintenance fees caused investor confusion; and investors placed great importance on the fees brokerages charged to service and maintain their accounts.