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Wall Street Broker Conflict Rules Approved by Divided SEC

  • Financial industry backs agency’s ‘best interest’ requirement
  • Investor advocates say plan will reduce consumer protections
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Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg
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Wall Street’s main overseer approved new conflict-of-interest rules for brokers, a sweeping regulatory overhaul that drew criticism from investor advocates for being too lax.

The measures, approved by a divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, require brokers to act in the “best interest” of clients. What that actually means, however, remains in dispute and the changes are unlikely to end a decade-long fight over the protections.