The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering a delay in implementation of Regulation Best Interest, the sweeping retail conduct rules set to go into effect on June 30, according to an agency executive.

Pete Driscoll, SEC’s Director of Compliance, Inspections and Exams, declined to say whether Reg BI will be delayed, but he did say the possibility has been brought to the attention of SEC leadership.

His comment was in reply to a question about Reg BI’s implementation date that was posed during the “Navigating the Regulatory Environment in Response to Covid-19” conference call held late yesterday sponsored by the National Society of Compliance Professionals.

“It’s good to know it’s on the table,” a compliance attorney who asked for anonymity told Financial Advisor magazine. “I’d be surprised if the SEC wasn’t thinking about Reg BI with every one working remotely for the foreseeable future. They may have no way to get to all the files and systems they need to work with. It’s just pragmatic.”

While Reg BI may be delayed, and a number of filing requirements have been extended once again as of this morning, examinations will continue even though all SEC examiners are currently working from home.

“We put a statement out that we are still doing exams, but we are being careful about the exams we do,” Driscoll said. “To the extent we reach out to a firm, we are working with them in terms of timing. There are a lot of mulligans on this. All of our examiners are working from home. We have 1,026 people and no one is in the field. No one is at a registrant.”

Driscoll said he doesn’t expect that to change for the next couple of weeks.

“We are working with firms very extensively to accommodate people working from home, those who are tied up with clients and trading all day or have files that are locked in a shuttered office,” he noted. “The thing I would just ask is just communicate those issues to our examiners.”

Driscoll said he wanted to refute articles he has seen that said if firms took advantage of any regulatory relief, it would automatically tee them up for an examination.

“We want you to take advantage of relief to the extent you need it,” he said.

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