Reg BI Exams' Scope Has Been Expanded: FINRA's Cook

Welcome back to Human Capital. I’m Melanie Waddell, ThinkAdvisor’s Washington bureau chief.

This week, Robert Cook, president and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is warning that the scope of Regulation Best Interest exams has been expanded. 

Gary Gensler was also confirmed by the Senate to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Labor Department, now under the helm of Secretary Marty Walsh, issued guidance on the fiduciary prohibited transaction exemption. 

While the swearing in of Gensler is expected any day now, Politico’s Morning Minute reported Friday that Kevin Burris, the oversight and investigations director for House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, is leaving the Hill to join the agency as Gensler’s lead of legislative affairs.

Keep scrolling to see what Cook said during a recent event held by the Insured Retirement Institute that FINRA is finding in Reg BI and Form CRS exams 10 months after the compliance date and what FINRA expects of firms moving forward. 

Thanks for tuning in again as we spotlight the people shaping the financial regulatory landscape.

Don’t forget to listen in on the latest Human Capital podcast with Susan Schroeder, the former head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s enforcement division who’s now a partner at WilmerHale and vice chair of its Securities & Financial Services Department.

You can reach me at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter at Think_MelanieW.


‘We’re Really Expecting Nothing Shorter Than Compliance’

Early Reg BI exams zeroed in on broker-dealers’ “broad approach to implementation.” With some firms, “we thought they needed to provide more by way of training or more adequate training on both Reg BI and Form CRS for their staff,” Cook relayed.

However, “going forward, we’re really expecting nothing shorter than compliance with the rule, and that’s what we’re going to be looking for,” Cook warned.

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