BPI, ABA and FSF Comment on SEC Proposed Rulemaking on Safeguarding Advisory Client Assets

Dear Ms. Countryman:

The American Bankers Association,[1] ABA Securities Association,[2] the Financial Services Forum,[3] and the Bank Policy Institute[4] (the “Signatories”) appreciate the opportunity to provide comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) on its proposed rule “Safeguarding Advisory Client Assets,” published March 9, 2023 (the “Proposed Rule”).[5] The Proposed Rule would significantly restructure, rework, and expand the current custody rule,[6] including the key relationship between a registered investment adviser (“RIA”) and a qualified custodian in relation to the assets of an RIA client,[7] and the specific requirements that apply to qualified custodians that are banks.

To read the full comment letter, please click here, or click on the download button below.

[1] The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $23.6 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional, and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard nearly $19.2 trillion in deposits, and extend $12.2 trillion in loans

[2] The ABA Securities Association (“ABASA”) is a separately chartered trade association and non-profit subsidiary of the American Bankers Association whose mission is to represent the interests of banks underwriting and dealing in securities, proprietary mutual funds and derivatives before Congress and the federal government. ABASA members are large financial institutions with significant capital markets businesses.

[3] The Financial Services Forum is an economic policy and advocacy organization whose members are the chief executive officers of the eight largest and most diversified financial institutions headquartered in the United States. Forum member institutions are a leading source of lending and investment in the United States and serve millions of consumers, business, investors, and communities throughout the country. The Forum promotes policies that support savings and investment, deep and liquid capital markets, a competitive global marketplace, and a sound financial system.

[4] The Bank Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy, research and advocacy group representing the nation’s leading banks and their customers. Our members include universal banks, regional banks and the major foreign banks doing business in the United States. Collectively, they employ almost two million Americans, make nearly half of the nation’s small business loans, and are an engine for financial innovation and economic growth.

[5] SEC Release No. IA-6240, 88 FR 14,672 (March 9, 2023), available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/03/09/2023-03681/safeguarding-advisory-client-assets.

[6] See 17 C.F.R. § 275.206(4)-2.

[7] When the term “client” is used in this letter, we refer to the investor whose assets are held in custody by the custody bank, not the RIA that has been engaged by the client to manage those assets.