Just two weeks ahead of the Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS June 30 implementation deadline, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton issued a statement following up on his April 2 statement. Despite its title — "Confirmation of June 30 Compliance Date for Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS" — the June 15 statement ("the Statement"), however, goes well beyond implementation and compliance date matters. The Statement specifically notes that areas where increased care may be necessary when making recommendations to retail investors are (1) rollovers, (2) complex investments, (3) structured vehicles (including SPACs) and (4) COVID-related investments. While a regulatory focus on rollovers, complex investments and structured vehicles is not new, Reg BI does provide certain additional tools to regulators. For example, account type is part of what constitutes a recommendation under Reg BI, in contrast to the suitability obligation. As broker-dealers move to the post-implementation Reg BI phase, they should continue to assess Reg BI compliance, particularly with regard to the duty of care and how reps explain products to clients, and ensure that documentation and disclosures are robust and up-to-date.
...Firms should ensure that, particularly under current [C-19 and market volatility] conditions, focus is being applied to the following areas, to the extent they are included in a firm's recommendation or advice to a retail investor: Rollovers and withdrawals from 401(k) and other plans. Complex or risk products COVID-related investments SPACs and Other Structured Investment Vehicles