The federal government shutdown has led the Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee to postpone a scheduled October 10 vote on a proposal to require broker-dealers be held to a fiduciary standard when providing personal investment advice to retail customers.

If approved eventually, the recommendation would put the committee on record as supporting a fiduciary standard as stringent as the obligation of registered investment advisors to look out for the best interests of their clients under the Advisers Act.

However, a safe harbor would be provided for brokers who do not offer or engage in broader investment advisory services.

As it entered its second day Wednesday, financial advisor advocacy groups were generally quiet.

Continuing its stance from the lead-up to the shutdown last week, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) had no comment.

Financial Services Institute spokesperson Chris Paulitz said advisors probably fielding the most questions about the shutdown are those in areas with a high concentration of federal employees losing money from furloughs.

Looking ahead with dread, Investment Adviser Association Government Relations Vice President Neil Simon e-mailed “Sure looks like this will drag on and become part of the Oct. 17th debt limit issue. Not pretty!”

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