Amendments to Forms and Schedules To Remove Provision of Certain Personally Identifiable Information
We are adopting revisions to forms filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') to eliminate the portion of those forms that requests filers to furnish certain personally identifiable information (``PII'') of natural persons, including Social Security numbers.
Proposed Commission Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers; Request for Comment on Enhancing Investment Adviser Regulation
The Securities and Exchange Commission (the ``SEC'' or the ``Commission'') is publishing for comment a proposed interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the ``Advisers Act'' or the ``Act''). The Commission also is requesting comment on: Licensing and continuing education requirements for personnel of SEC- registered investment advisers; delivery of account statements to clients with investment advisory accounts; and financial responsibility requirements for SEC-registered investment advisers, including fidelity bonds.
Form CRS Relationship Summary; Amendments to Form ADV; Required Disclosures in Retail Communications and Restrictions on the Use of Certain Names or Titles
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') is proposing new and amended rules and forms under both the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (``Advisers Act'') and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') to require registered investment advisers and registered broker-dealers (together, ``firms'') to provide a brief relationship summary to retail investors to inform them about the relationships and services the firm offers, the standard of conduct and the fees and costs associated with those services, specified conflicts of interest, and whether the firm and its financial professionals currently have reportable legal or disciplinary events. Retail investors would receive a relationship summary at the beginning of a relationship with a firm, and would receive updated information following a material change. The relationship summary would be subject to Commission filing and recordkeeping requirements. The Commission also is proposing two rules to reduce investor confusion in the marketplace for firm services, a new rule under the Exchange Act that would restrict broker-dealers and associated natural persons of broker- dealers, when communicating with a retail investor, from using the term ``adviser'' or ``advisor'' in specified circumstances; and new rules under the Exchange Act and Advisers Act that would require broker- dealers and investment advisers, and their associated natural persons and supervised persons, respectively, to disclose, in retail investor communications, the firm's registration status with the Commission and an associated natural person's and/or supervised person's relationship with the firm.
Regulation Best Interest
We are proposing a new rule under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (``Exchange Act'') establishing a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and natural persons who are associated persons of a broker-dealer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to a retail customer.
Auditor Independence With Respect to Certain Loans or Debtor-Creditor Relationships
The Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') is proposing to amend its auditor independence rules to refocus the analysis that must be conducted to determine whether an auditor is independent when the auditor has a lending relationship with certain shareholders of an audit client at any time during an audit or professional engagement period. The proposed amendments would focus the analysis solely on beneficial ownership rather than on both record and beneficial ownership; replace the existing 10 percent bright-line shareholder ownership test with a ``significant influence'' test; add a ``known through reasonable inquiry'' standard with respect to identifying beneficial owners of the audit client's equity securities; and amend the definition of ``audit client'' for a fund under audit to exclude funds that otherwise would be considered affiliates of the audit client. The Commission is also requesting comment on certain other potential amendments to its auditor independence rules.