WASHINGTON - Banking and securities regulators are promising a swift resolution to concerns about proposed new rules that will affect bank brokerages.
At a meeting sponsored by the Bank Securities Association to discuss bank proprietary investment products, regulators pledged earlier this week that they would share more information with bank officials and reduce the amount of duplication in overseeing the sale of investment products.
The regulators added that they would take a fresh look at the interagency guidelines issued last year concerning the sale of investment products, and that proposed rules by the National Association of Securities Dealers should be in final form by this fall.
If the promises come to pass, it could signal an easier time for banks, which have complained bitterly about the many regulations they are subject to.
The comments come shortly after the release of hundreds of letters sent to the NASD concerning its notice to members in which the agency spelled out several new areas of oversight.
"Any final version of 94-94 will be significantly different," said John Pinto, an executive vice president in charge of regulation at the NASD, referring to his agency's oversight document.
Among the issues that will likely be excluded from the final version, Mr. Pinto said, will be rules concerning the registration of investment representatives and branches.
But regulators seemed no closer to agreeing on a new credential for bank employees selling investment products.
While many bankers and industry executives have advocated a new test either in addition to, or separate from, the NASD's current series of investment sales credentials, none of the agencies seemed close to a decision.
Ellen Broadman, director of securities and corporate practices for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said, "We have developed an outline and are waiting for all the banking agencies to sign off on it before presenting it to the securities side."
The panelists said that regulators were also close to agreeing on the short-form prospectus that would allow banks to present investors with a summary of a mutual funds' investment strategy.
"If we go to a shorter form we are aware that you're opening yourselves up to potential liability," said Barry Barbash, director of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "So we are also considering litigation reform."