The NASD and Securities and Exchange Commission are beginning to shift their attention away from the widespread mutual fund scandals to spearheading newly proposed guidelines targeting variable annuity sales, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Both regulatory bodies are reacting to grievances stemming from improper variable annuity sales tactics that recently led to a joint report on VA best sales practices ( see MME 6/10/04). Repeated abuses by variable annuity providers have prompted the regulators to float suggested guidelines aimed at bringing variable annuity sales up to par with stringent rules governing volatile investments like options trading.

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