U.S. Capitol Building

Advocacy Priorities

Each year, we develop Advocacy Priorities to help focus our resources on issues that will directly impact our members, the Main Street Americans they serve and the financial services industry as a whole.


The Financial Services Institute’s (FSI) mission is to ensure that all individuals have access to competent and affordable financial advice, products and services delivered by a growing network of independent financial advisors and independent financial services firms.

Issues Impacting Independent Firms & Financial Advisors

Independent Contractor Classification

Independent financial advisors choose to operate as independent contractors, many voluntarily switching from an employee-based advisor position to better serve their Main Street American clients. They are small business owners who, inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, build their businesses within their communities, hire staff, dictate their own business practices, pay their operating expenses and rely on their business’ success. We are dedicated to preserving advisors’ choice to be independent contractors and support solutions that provide our members clarity so that they can operate confidently and not waste significant resources defending their worker classification decisions. 

Payment to Ensemble Practices

Currently, SEC regulations require securities commissions be paid only to individuals as opposed to business entities. Over the years, independent financial advisors’ businesses have evolved into ensemble practices to better serve clients and meet all aspects of their financial planning needs. This makes relief in this area overdue. We continue our efforts to allow for the payment of securities income directly from a financial services firm to a business entity operated by financial advisors. Allowing payments to ensemble practices would help the industry address business succession challenges as it looks to bring in the next generation of advisors.  

Issues Impacting RIA/ Dually Registered Financial Advisors & Firms

FSI members on Capitol Hill

Pace & Breadth of SEC Rulemaking

Chair Gensler’s tenure at the SEC marks a significant surge in rulemaking with an average public comment period of only 46 days – nearly 20% fewer days than under previous Chairs. In addition, potential changes to one rule proposal could impact the effectiveness and workability of another proposal. The shortened comment periods and overlapping proposals hinder stakeholders’ ability to provide meaningful, constructive feedback, undermining the rulemaking process and negatively impacting the quality of the rules and their intended goals. We are committed to constructively engaging with the SEC and Congress to ensure a fair and effective rulemaking process that achieves our shared goal of investor protection. 

SEC Predictive Data Analytics Rule

The rise of AI and the use of technology has touched all aspects of everyday life, including our members’ interactions with their clients. The SEC attempted to address conflicts of interest arising from such interactions in its Predictive Analytics Rules. However, the proposed rules encompass an extremely broad scope of technology beyond AI, covering even Excel spreadsheets. The proposals do not align with definitions and requirements under Reg BI. We are concerned this proposal, as written, will have a chilling effect on innovation and the use of technology within the industry, ultimately detracting from the client experience. In today’s world, technology is an integral part of people’s everyday lives, and clients expect technology and digital options to be available. 

Issues Impacting the Financial Services Industry

FSI members meet with congressional office to discuss advocacy priorities

Regulation by Enforcement

Financial services firms, financial advisors and investors rely on consistent, predictable rules governing the regulatory road. Enforcement activity must not be used to establish new regulatory requirements, also known as “regulation by enforcement.” This includes new or evolving interpretations of existing obligations, which should be appropriately done through Notice-and-Comment rulemaking. The rulemaking process provides stakeholders with an opportunity to engage in the process and firms and advisors with the transparency and certainty needed to operate their businesses and protect investors. Our 2024 white paper, Recommendations to the SEC to Modify its Procedural Framework to Prevent Regulation by Enforcement, outlines concrete procedures to detect and prevent certain unfair enforcement practices by the Commission. 

Issues Impacting Clients

Standard of Care

We support a standard of care that acknowledges and takes into account the unique characteristics of the independent financial services model and its ability to provide access to advice for Main Street investors. Such a standard should account for the existing extensive regulatory regime in which the industry operates, including the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest requirements. Proposals should provide clear, consistent requirements that align with current regulatory rules in order to prevent a patchwork of varying and potentially conflicting standards. These are among the reasons we oppose the Department of Labor’s latest iteration of its fiduciary rule.  

Investor Education & Protection 

Financial education must be made available to Americans of all ages in order to help them achieve their financial goals. We are committed to promoting investor education and protection for all ages across the country, including working to promote programs at the primary and high school levels to provide young Americans with solid, basic financial skills as they enter the workforce.  

The elderly and those with diminished capacity are the most vulnerable within our communities, and financial advisors are often the first line of defense against financial exploitation. We support “report and hold” rules to empower financial services firms and financial advisors to flag and place a hold on transactions and disbursements when there is a reasonable suspicion of financial exploitation of vulnerable investors. 

Advocacy Action Center

Our Advocacy Action Center is designed to help you get involved with simple but effective steps. There you can write a comment letter, contact your representatives in Congress, get updates on key bills, learn about FSI PAC, and more.