Maryland fiduciary bill killed in committee

Further action appears unlikely with legislature set to adjourn April 8

Apr 3, 2019 @ 4:55 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

A bill that would have raised investment advice standards in Maryland suffered a major setback Wednesday when it was rejected in committee.

The Maryland Senate Finance Committee voted down the Financial Consumer Protection Act, which included a provision that would have imposed a fiduciary duty on financial professionals in the state.

The bill has likely died because the legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 8. An aide to one of its authors, Sen. James Rosapepe, D-College Park, was not immediately available for comment.

Maryland was one of several states pursuing advice reform while the Securities and Exchange Commission works on its own rule to raise the standard of conduct for brokers.

The Insured Retirement Institute, which was among many industry groups opposing the bill at a hearing last month, declared victory.

"This is the right outcome given the extraordinary regulatory activity on this issue by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners," IRI chief legal and regulatory affairs officer Jason Berkowitz said in a statement.

The NAIC is working on a proposal to reform the suitability standard for annuity sales.

Most observers expect the SEC to release a final rule sometime this summer.

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