The Securities and Exchange Commission voted with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to implement the bank broker provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
The move will allow customers to walk into a bank and buy any financial product or service, including securities, insurance, banking or trust services. It could also provide increased choices and competition for accountants who act as financial planners.
The agreement ended eight years of impasse and protracted negotiations over the rules. The agreement needed to be worked out not only with the SEC and the Fed, but also with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Thrift Supervision. The talks had stalled and were revived 18 months ago.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said in a statement that the action was "long overdue but welcome news for investors who will now begin to see the benefits of broader services and lower costs than the law intended."
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