The concept of a centralized database where investors could check the backgrounds of financial professionals drew strong support at a recent meeting of securities regulators, according to the journal Financial Planning.
SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority CEO Robert Cook addressed the topic at a panel discussion during the annual meeting of the North American Securities Administrators Association. Both approved of the idea of consolidating the various websites that contain regulatory disclosure records about financial advisors and broker-dealers.
Currently, that information is provided on a number of different platforms, including BrokerCheck, the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website and the SEC’s investor.gov. Professionals in the financial industry and journalists monitor the sites on a regular basis but they are utilized far less frequently by clients.
Lee and Cook said having a single public database would give clients a convenient place to turn for some of the key information that would help them evaluate advisors to handle their investments. Lee described it as a “one-stop shopping approach” for reviewing the records of firms and financial professionals, while Cook added that it was “a great suggestion” and said it would be the one rule change he would recommend as being most helpful for investors.
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