Represented by an influential lobbying group, broker-dealers are striking out against proposed regulations which would require them to adhere to an equal “fiduciary” standard with registered investment advisors in giving advice to retail investors.

In an Aug. 30 letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York and Washington D.C.-based Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) warned that any uniform standard of care might actually harm rather than help investors. “Under a standard of care that the [SEC] adopts, a broker-dealer may determine that it could not provide personalized investment advice on an aggressive or sophisticated strategy to retail customers, even where the retail customer has sought advice and indicated his or her decision to employ an aggressive or sophisticated strategy, because it could be argued in hindsight that the strategy may not represent the best interests of such customer if more conservative options are available,” said SIFMA.

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