(Bloomberg) -- There’s a gap between the White House and Wall Street’s main regulator over a push to tighten broker rules. To the investment industry, it’s an opening to exploit.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was missing last month when the White House unveiled the plan that roiled the financial industry. The proposal, crafted by the Labor Department, would require brokers to put retirement savers’ interests ahead of their own in an effort to eliminate what it calls biased advice that costs investors billions of dollars annually.

The SEC, which oversees the brokerage industry as a whole, has studied for years whether to impose a broader regulation that would cover all investors, not just those saving for retirement. The industry says the decision to move ahead without the SEC would burden brokers with two sets of rules -- one for retirement accounts, one for all others -- and confuse investors.

“If the SEC saw a problem with how investment advice is given, I’m sure they would act on it,” Francis Creighton, chief lobbyist of the Financial Services Roundtable, said in an interview. “This is squarely in the SEC’s jurisdiction.”

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.