Friday, October 19, 2007
A panel of state securities regulators representing the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) reported on developments at the PIABA Annual Meeting. A few themes were emphasized. First, fraud among senior investors is increasing and is expected to continue to increase with the aging population. Second, a significant number of their complaints relate to annuities, which they also expect will increase. Indeed, one regulator called equity-indexed annuities a "scourge" and urged the SEC to resolve whether they are securities. Third, as to arbitration, they recommend making it non-mandatory and eliminating the industry arbitrator. Rex Staples, the GC of NASAA, referred to the industry arbitrator as the "Achilles' heel" of securities arbitration and unnecessary, given the prevalence of expert testimony on industry practices.