Regulators Propose New Rules for Firms Servicing Older Investors

Representing Investors Nationwide

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have recently released a report to Assist Financial Services providers in servicing older investors.

A portion of the press release announcing the new report follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2008-220

Washington, D.C., Sept. 22, 2008 – As part of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s third annual Seniors Summit held in Washington today, the staff of the SEC along with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released a joint report outlining practices that financial services firms can use to strengthen their policies and procedures for serving older investors as they approach and enter retirement.

Projections show that nearly one in every six Americans will be age 65 or older by the year 2020. Given the increasing number of investors who need advice and guidance, financial services firms are actively developing new products and increasingly providing financial advice and services to senior investors. The SEC, FINRA, and NASAA view the protection of senior investors as a top priority.

The regulators’ report - Protecting Senior Investors: Compliance, Supervisory and Other Practices Used by Financial Services Firms in Serving Investors – provides practical examples of proactive steps being taken financial services firms in serving senior investors.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said, “Today’s market turmoil affects senior investors very directly, because for them, investing for the longer term isn’t an option. They and the more than 76 million baby boomers will directly benefit from this report on developing high standards for firms’interactions with senior investors.”

NASAA President Fred Joseph said, “The practices outlined in this report, combined with strong regulation, effective industry compliance and supervision, and increased investor awareness, help ensure that the financial needs of our growing senior population are being met by brokers, investment advisers and others in the financial services industry. We appreciate the efforts of those in the industry who shared their successful programs with us and we look forward to continue working with the SEC, FINRA, and the financial services industry in the fight against senior investment fraud.”

FINRA CEO Mary Schapiro said, “FINRA is working closely with firms to make sure they treat seniors properly and educate brokers how best to interact with this growing segment of the investor population. The Joint Report will prove to be a valuable resource to financial services professionals as they struggle with the range of issues associated with an aging customer base – and it is my belief that this report will help make the securities industry a leader among industries when it comes to developing guidelines to serve senior customers.”

This is welcome albeit belated news for seniors who have seen their retirement savings ravaged by unscrupulous insurance brokers, investment advisers and greedy wall street firms. Retirement savings represent a huge portion of the investable assets in this country but also represent the most vulnerable part of the population. Brokerage firms for years have been peddling 72-t programs and early retirement plans with unrealistic income projections as have insurance agents peddling variable and fixed annuities with huge commissions and long surrender periods.

The stockbroker fraud attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter help seniors and retirees recover losses associated with unsuitable investment advice and products. Please contact our offices today if you believe you have been sole investment products or services resulting in losses to your retirement nest egg.