SEC Tells Wall Street to Ring in Research Changes

Financial News, May 9, 2002 | Go to article overview

SEC Tells Wall Street to Ring in Research Changes


Byline: Jeremy Adams in New York

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has waived aside Wall Street's reluctance to change its research practices as it put forward proposals to end conflicts of interest at securities firms. The SEC made seven proposals to changes in the rules governing analyst behaviour in its investigation into analysts' conflicts of interests.

Among them was the controversial demand that securities firms disclose future investment banking relationships - something that banks have been resisting heavily but a measure that Merrill Lynch has already been forced to undertake by Eliot Spitzer, the New York State Attorney General.

The SEC said: "A firm will also be required to disclose if it expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from the company during the next three months." The SEC also demanded added monitoring of meetings between investment bankers and analysts - another feature that banks have opposed.

The proposals mean that the SEC has ignored Wall Street's opposition to reform proposals originally put forward by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and New York Stock Exchange. The Securities Industry Association (SIA) has been organising the banks' resistance to reforms but its efforts appear to have been in vain. …

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