As part of its 2019 legislative agenda, the Financial Services Institute plans to put a damper on initiatives to implement state-level fiduciary rules, according to news reports.

The trade group was behind the pushback to a proposal for such a rule in Maryland already, FSI president and CEO Dale Brown said yesterday at the group’s conference in New Orleans, according to ThinkAdvisor. The Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission recently released a report suggesting that, in light of alleged failures at the federal and state level, a state-level rule holding brokers to the fiduciary standard is necessary to protect investors.

Other states, including Nevada and New Jersey, are working on similar initiatives.

“There’s still more to do there, as well as in New Jersey and other states,” Brown said, according to ThinkAdvisor. “Our priority is to engage at the state level. That states have a patchwork of regulation adds to confusion and costs and thus undermines investor protection.”

Meanwhile, FSI plans to work closely with Democrats in Congress, Brown said, according to the publication. This includes the new House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ThinkAdvisor writes. And that’s despite the fact that Waters has been a vocal critic of the SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest.

The delay of the SEC rule, and its seeming preservation of the status quo, had prompted the Maryland commission to push forward its state-level fiduciary rule proposal in the first place.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D) (Getty)

Brown said at the conference that Waters has “always had an open door to us over years and listened to our input,” Brown said, “and I have confidence that will continue,” according to ThinkAdvisor.

“In all our 15 years, we’ve made it a priority to work with everyone elected by the American public to represent them,” he said, according to the publication. “Access to advice and investor protection are not partisan issues.”