The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard said Thursday it has doubts about the SEC's ability to formulate a fiduciary standard that will protect the interest of Americans trying to save for retirement.

Those doubts, according to Knut Rostad, president of the nonprofit Institute for the Fiduciary Standard, are based on a close examination of public comments made by various SEC officials and agency rulings.

The "culture" at the SEC, Rostad claimed, regards conflicts of interest as unavoidable and views the difference between the tougher fiduciary standard and the "suitability" standard to which the securities industry is held as minimal. 

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.