Restoring Confidence in the Financial Services Industry: Advocating for a Uniform, Rules-Based Fiduciary Standard

Article by: Katelin Eastman

2014 PEPP. L. REV. 1 (2014)

As the distinctions between investment advisers and broker-dealers continue to blur, “retail customers today see little difference between a broker and an adviser.” Their confusion is warranted in that approximately forty percent of all broker-dealers are in control of, or associated with, an investment firm that performs advisory services. The blurred roles of broker-dealers and investment advisers have also bred a high degree of mistrust among American investors given recent scandals surrounding Bernard Madoff’s billion-dollar Ponzi scheme and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Goldman Sachs investigation. It is therefore necessary to re-visit broker-dealers’ fiduciary obligations and establish a uniform standard throughout the financial services industry.

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