The financial services industry actually embraces the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and related rules and regulations, as a means of restoring faith in its part of the economy, the heads of private client service and capital markets firms said Monday.
"As an industry we really do welcome financial reform," said James R. Allen, chairman and chief executive ofifcer of J.J.B. Hilliard, W.L. Lyons LLC, at the opening panel discussion of the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association at the Marriott Marquis hotel.
Addressing regulatory reform in a fashion "that makes long-term sense," will restore consumer confidence in the financial industry, so investors believe "this is a fair game,'' he said.
The reform, now in process of being enacted, followed the credit crisis of 2008 and 2009 and was ratified by Congress shortly after the May 6 Flash Crash.
"The financial meltdown that we just went through is evidence" that regulations needed to be addressed, said Chet Helck, chief operating officer of Raymond James Financial. Regulations left over from 1933, 1934 and 1940 need to be updated, he said.
"The public looks at this (reform) as a punitive action,'' he said. But "that is not at all the case.
The industry is not getting "spanked," he said.
"The most important job we have to do is restore trust and confidence... in the system,'' said Helck, "that lets people know there is "an orderly expecation of what they could look forward to the future."
As 235 rulemaking procedures play out, the question is, said Walter S. Robertson III, senior managing director of Scott & Stringfellow LLC, is "Is it a positive? Is it better for the consumer?" and is the implementation not onerous.
You do not need to put on "five seat belts when you get into a car," said Robertson.
Kent Christian, president of the financial services group for Wells Fargo Advisors, said there are "a number of challenges we see" coming out of the reform. He did not specify the challenges and which parts of his business they will effect. He said they all "can be discussed, vetted and reconciled."
Wells Fargo has 15,100 advisors, countrwide, with more than $1 trillion under management he said.
And, as rules get formulated over the next two years, wealthy individuals and consumer clients will need good advice just as much or more than before, said Allen.
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