FSI
  • FSI Advocacy

    Advocacy Priorities

    FSI’s mission is to ensure that all individuals have access to competent and affordable financial advice, products, and services delivered by a growing network of independent financial advisors and independent financial services firms. Our top advocacy priorities1 include:

    Issues of Significant Concern to Clients

    1. Prevention of Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults: Strongly support state and federal legislation and regulation that allows our members’ to protect their clients from financial exploitation without violating privacy obligations or exposing financial advisors and firms to liability.
    2. Expansion of Access to ABLE Act Accounts: Strongly support state and federal efforts to promote the expansion, availability, and usefulness of ABLE Act accounts to families with disabled children.
    3. Fiduciary Duty: Strongly support the adoption of an SEC developed fiduciary duty for financial advisors affiliated with broker-dealers who provide advice to retail investors. The fiduciary duty should protect clients’ choice among financial advisors, products, services, and the means of compensation.

    Issues of Significant Concern to Independent Financial Services Firms & Advisors

    1. Independent Contractor Fix: Strongly support a permanent fix to unwarranted legislative and IRS scrutiny of the independent contractor business model.
    2. Commissions to Ensemble Practices: Strongly support the rational payment of commissions and other revenue to ensemble, Super-OSJ, and other enterprise level practices to facilitate efficient business operations and compliance with tax law requirements.
    3. Ensuring a Level Playing Field: Strongly support broker-dealer and investment advisor regulatory harmonization through third-party exams, a fiduciary standard of care, and support for other uniform regulatory requirements.

    Issues of Significant Concern to the Financial Services Industry2

    1. DOL Fiduciary Rule: Strongly support legislative, regulatory, and judicial efforts to dismantle the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule in order to preserve Main Street access to independent financial advice.
    2. Financial CHOICE Act: Strongly support adoption of The Financial CHOICE Act or other legislative solutions to preserve access to and choice among financial advisors, products, and services while reducing the impact of regulation on advisors’ ability to serve their clients.
    3. State/City-Run Retirement Plans: Strongly oppose legislative efforts that will establish state, city, or county retirement programs that deny clients the benefit of financial advice and compete against independent financial advisors.

    Other Issues on FSI’s Advocacy Agenda:

    In pursuit of FSI’s mission, we will maintain and expand our relationships with state and federal policymakers and advocacy allies while pursuing the following additional initiatives in 2017:

    1. Strongly support the expansion of access by all individuals to competent and affordable financial advice, products, and services by supporting the:

    • Preservation of and enhancements to the tax incentives for Americans to responsibly invest for a dignified retirement, the education of their children, the cost of healthcare, and to achieve other financial goals with the help of an independent financial advisor;
    • Streamlining and e-delivery of client disclosure documents;
    • Efforts to lower the cost of financial advice, products, and services while opposing financial transaction taxes that raise the cost of investing for clients; and
    • Efforts to improve the financial literacy of Main Street investors.

    2. Strongly support the growth of the network of independent financial advisors and independent financial services firms by:

    • Supporting comprehensive tax reform for pass through entities and corporations while creating new business opportunities through enhancements of the deductibility of advisory fees and higher contribution limits to 401(k)s, IRAs, 529 Plans, Health Savings Accounts, and other tax advantaged accounts;
    • Supporting the preservation of financial advisors and financial services firms’ executives ability to participate in the political process without running afoul of pay-to-play prohibitions;
    • Supporting the adoption of a streamlined point-of-sale client disclosure delivered electronically;
    • Supporting the preservation and improvement of FINRA’s arbitration system;
    • Supporting improvements to FINRA’s BrokerCheck system that avoid the publication of misleading, irrelevant, or unhelpful information about financial advisors;
    • Supporting uniform state and federal cybersecurity regulatory requirements that allow for effective use of member resources while also taking into account the unique nature of the independent business model;
    • Supporting FINRA performing additional retrospective rule reviews that focus on regulatory requirements that unnecessarily burden financial advisors and firms;
    • Supporting the repeal of the TN professional privilege tax;
    • Supporting the development of solutions to regulatory concerns about aging financial advisors before state regulations are thrust upon the industry;
    • Opposing the adoption of required disclosures that demean the work of independent financial advisors through misleading and inflammatory statements concerning their ability to act in the best interest of their clients;
    • Opposing the formation of an unpaid arbitration award pool funded by FINRA members;
    • Opposing legislation designed to impose taxes on financial services, and
    • Opposing a one-size fits all concentration limit on REIT and other DPP investments.

    1The “Advocacy Priorities” are the issues upon which FSI intends to lead the effort to achieve the stated objective.

    2We anticipate working closely with other like-minded trade associations on these issues, but will bring a Main Street focus to the advocacy efforts.

  • Advocacy Action Center

    Our Advocacy Action Center is designed to help you get involved with simple but effective steps. Write a comment letter, call your representatives in Congress, contribute to the FSI PAC or print and send an issue briefing or a white paper. Take action now.

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    Who to Contact

    David Bellaire, Esq.
    Executive Vice President & General Counsel
    202 803-6061
    Email David