Crain News Service
Investment advisers in Ohio face the possibility of more frequent audits and punitive actions under a proposed law establishing state oversight of their burgeoning field.
The bill now in the Financial Institutions Committee of the Ohio House would require financial planning firms to pay $200 a year for state licenses and to license each planner within a firm for $50 a year.
To be licensed, planners would need to pass a test and comply with standards set by the state Division of Securities that would mirror the SEC's certification requirements. The bill would give the division the power to bring criminal and administrative charges against abusers.
Ohio is one of only four states that have not adopted regulations for smaller financial planning firms since a 1996 federal mandate that limited the Securities and Exchange Commission's scrutiny of financial advisers to companies or individuals that manage $25 million or more in assets. The SEC delegated responsibility for the smaller firms to the states after it was swamped by the enormous growth of the field.