Merkley Statement on SEC Vote on Conflict-of-Interest Regulations

WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley made the following statement today after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to approve conflict-of-interest regulations, implementing part of the Merkley-Levin provision in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill:

“I am heartened by today’s unanimous vote at the SEC to approve conflict-of-interest regulations. This is a critical step forward in ensuring that financial firms are working for their clients, not for themselves at their clients’ expense.  We have heard for too long about breathtaking conflicts of interest among investment banks, mortgage lenders, credit rating agencies, and others, including examples of banks creating securities and derivatives intentionally designed to fail and selling them to clients in order to profit from that failure. Such practices certainly contributed to the 2008 financial collapse.

“Many firms, of course, chose to act ethically and did not engage in such conflicts of interest. But it was a gross failure of oversight and accountability that any firms had the opportunity to make the opposite choice. I am pleased that the SEC will be working to enforce the Dodd-Frank provisions that end inappropriate and destructive conflicts of interest.”