A group of regulators and lobbyists speaking at an industry conference this weekend laid out a possible timetable for the implementation of new Dodd-Frank-related regulations affecting financial planners.

The creation of a uniform fiduciary rule for brokers and advisors, as recommended by the Securities and Exchange Commission per Dodd-Frank, will likely come first, probably by the end of the year, said Kevin Carroll, managing director and associate counsel for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

However, the new rule will likely be simplified to make it easier for advisors to understand and to comply, Carroll told attendees at the FPA's annual conference in San Diego.

"I think we'll get to a 'happy place'," without the new rule being watered down, he said.

The selection of a self-regulatory organization for advisors will likely be last, in Carroll's view.

“It’s going to take an action of Congress to move that issue forward,” Carroll said. “I would expect that to be two years out or later ­ there¹s just too many other priorities for Congress right now to decide on an issue as cloudy as this.”

Matthew O¹Toole, assistant regional director of IA/IC examinations in the SEC¹s San Francisco office, says that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority could likely be the entity selected as the SRO “by default,” as it’s the most practical solution for regulating advisors.

Addressing the question of whether Dodd-Frank's passage will reduce the risk of another crisis, the panelists agreed it's too early to tell. Scores of regulations have yet to be promulgated and the law left a great deal to interpretation.

“It¹s still a work in progress,” said Dan Berry, managing director of government relations and public policy for the FPA. “When the next crisis hits, we¹ll know how effective it is.”

Preston DuFauchard, Commissioner of the California Department of Corporations, said the U.S. is already experiencing the next crisis and it has its genesis in the European debt crisis.

“Banks can¹t be immune from systemic risk because they are prone to inter-bank lending,” DuFauchard said. “I don’t know if Dodd-Frank or any legislation can be designed to eliminate systemic risk.”

“DuFauchard also said it’s “naïve” to think that regulators can detect and address systemic risk ahead of any crisis in a meaningful way. Still, once the European debt crisis resolves itself, it might become clearer whether or not Dodd-Frank is “performing well,” he said.





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