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SEC Expected to Propose Wide-Ranging Fiduciary Standard in Spring 2018

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the SEC may propose its version of a fiduciary rule by the spring of 2018. According to the report, the proposal would affect retirement funds as well as other brokerage accounts—and would prohibit brokers from calling themselves financial advisers unless they accept a strict duty of loyalty to clients. The Wall Street Journal also reported that SEC staff recently met with industry groups and firms including Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo Advisors. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has repeatedly stated that adopting a fiduciary rule is among his top priorities and that he hoped to work with the Department of Labor on that initiative. According to the report, certain firms would seek an exemption from complying with the Labor Department’s rule if they comply with an SEC version.

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