The Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday that it wouldn't fight a court decision that would place new restrictions on Wall Street brokers overseeing about $300 billion in clients' money.
In March, a federal appeals court overturned SEC regulations permitting brokers to offer some fee-based services without adhering to stiffer customer-protection requirements other investment advisors have to follow.
The SEC decision not to appeal could lead brokerages to stop offering accounts that charge an annual fee rather than a per-trade fee. There are about 1 million such accounts, representing about 20% of all retail brokerage accounts, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Assn., a brokerage trade group.
People who have such accounts will now be forced into "one-size-fits-all" offerings where "choices are limited and costs to consumers can be nearly double," said Marc Lackritz, president of the trade group.