The Regulatory Outlook for 2018 and the Impact on Advisors

Blaine Aikin, Executive Chairman, Fi360
Duane Thompson, Senior Policy Analyst, Fi360

February 14, 2018

While the fiduciary rule will continue to dominate attention in 2018, the second tier of potential regulatory activity may surprise many advisors. After President Trump’s executive order in early 2017 promising a top-to-bottom review of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, the rest of the year was relatively quiet on the regulatory front for the financial services industry.  However, key components of the rule went into effect last June, with additional rulemaking activity expected as early as this spring by the Securities and Exchange Commission, working in tandem with the DOL.  As part of a much broader de-regulatory effort, the Trump Administration also plans to eliminate old rules across federal agencies at “better than 2:1,” according to the Office of Management and Budget.  What does all of this mean for fiduciary advisors?  Will the SEC and DOL move ahead with harmonizing the fiduciary standard for investment advice?  What has happened to other rules left over from the Obama years?  Will Congress move out of gridlock to roll back Dodd-Frank?  What are the examination priorities for the SEC and FINRA in 2018?  Fi360’s Blaine Aikin and Duane Thompson review what promises to be an interesting year on the regulatory front in Washington.