The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA) is proposing an amendment to its existing model rule on unethical business practices that’s designed to address financial advisors’ improper access to clients’ accounts.
NASAA notes that many advisors, “need access to a host of different client retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, and other online accounts to inform their advice,” and that some advisors ask clients for their login info so that they can access these accounts online.
“When an investment advisor accesses a client’s account in this manner, the investment advisor is in effect impersonating this client and has the same access to the account as the client,” NASAA says. “There are multiple concerns with this type of access, including but not limited to custody and recordkeeping obligations as well as violations of the clients’ own user agreements and fraud protection policies with the online companies.”
The proposed amendments are out for comment until Aug. 25.
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