Broker-dealers selling annuities in New York state must now abide by the best-interest standard, according to news reports.
Passed last July, Regulation 187, as it’s known, requires financial services providers to consider clients’ interests first when recommending annuities and puts new disclosure and training requirements on broker-dealers and insurers selling annuities, WealthManagement.com writes.
The rule, which went into effect Aug. 1, also bars annuity sellers from calling themselves advisors unless they are licensed to do so, according to the web publication.
“A producer shall not use a title or designation of financial planner, financial advisor or similar title unless the producer is properly licensed or certified and actually provides securities or other non-insurance financial services,” according to the rule, WealthManagement.com writes.
On Feb. 1, 2020, the rule also goes into effect for entities selling life insurance policies, according to the web publication.
When it was passed last year, the rule was meant to fill a regulatory gap left after an appeals court vacated the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which required retirement account advisors to put clients’ interest first, New York Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo said at the time, according to WealthManagement.com.
New York follows Nevada and Connecticut in imposing its own state-level rules on the sales of some investment products.
In 2017, Nevada implemented a statutory fiduciary duty on brokers and advisors working with Nevada residents, while Connecticut passed a bill requiring 403(b) plan providers for some Connecticut-based organizations to disclose conflicts of interest to the plans’ fiduciaries.
Other states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, have proposed legislation or regulation to apply the best interest standard at the state level. Massachusetts has argued that such rules are necessary to address gaps left by the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest, the package of rules on broker and investment advisor conduct approved in June.
Critics of state-level initiatives say they create a hodgepodge of regulations, making it difficult for financial service firms to do business.