The Securities and Exchange Commission says the application of the fiduciary standard of care may be determined in a contractual arrangement between a client and adviser, which is similar to the fiduciary framework that SIFMA submitted to the SEC. Ira Hammerman, SIFMA's general counsel, said SIFMA supports a best-interests investment advice standard. "Everyone should have the comfort that Dodd-Frank itself, the actual law, prevents any watering down. No one is looking for fiduciary-light or any sort of minimal fiduciary standard. What we are looking for is clear guidance" on ways in which a uniform standard would be applied across advice business models, Hammerman said.

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