Financial reform coming to your financial planner (and your TV)

Financial reform coming to your financial planner (and your TV)
Financial reform coming to your financial planner (and your TV)

The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives begin this week to meld their respective bills on financial reform – a massive regulatory overhaul that could impact everything from how you get credit cards or mortgages to how you pick a financial advisor.

At first glance, you might think that all of Wall Street is opposed to financial reform. After all, since January 2009, financial services firms have doled out nearly $600 million to hire lobbyists and fight reform, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

While it's clear that many U.S. bankers oppose sweeping changes to the financial services industry, there is a large contingent of those in the financial-advice business who are begging for big reforms and more regulation: financial planners.

The Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the CFP Board of Standards are all supporting a plan to create tougher standards for financial planners and put them under the authority of the SEC.

The proposal, from Senate Banking Committee member Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) is included as an amendment to the committee's existing financial reform bill, according to David Mendels, CFP and President-Elect of the New York Chapter of the FPA. "We're thrilled to know that it's made it this far," Mendels said.