The Maryland Senate and House of Representatives have introduced companion bills-Senate Bill 786 and House Bill 1127-aimed at boosting consumer protection by imposing fiduciary standards on agents, brokers, and dealers (hereinafter “insurance producers”). Known as the Financial Consumer Protection Act of 2019, this initiative would designate the insurance producer as a fiduciary and require insurance producers to act in their clients’ best interest regarding any fee-based financial advice, without regard to their own interests.
According to reports, the bills face concerns from insurance professionals and the ACLI who fear that imposing fiduciary standards on insurance producers may limit consumer access, particularly for low and moderate income consumers, to financial and retirement security products. Maryland believes the bills are necessary to fill a void in consumer protection after Federal efforts to impose similar obligations failed.
For any questions regarding the proposed Financial Consumer Protection Act of 2019 or any updates on its progress through the Maryland legislature, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.