ASSEMBLY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND INSURANCE COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 3913

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  JUNE 4, 2009

 

      The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Assembly Bill No. 3913.

      As amended, this bill supplements the “Uniform Securities Law (1997)” and makes it a dishonest or unethical practice for any person to use a senior-specific certification or designation to indicate or imply that the user has special training in advising or servicing senior citizens or retirees, in such a way as to mislead any person, in connection with the offer, sale, or purchase of a security, or the provision of advice as to the value of or the advisability of investing in, purchasing, or selling a security, either directly or indirectly or through a publication or a writing, or by issuing or promulgating an analysis or a report relating to a security.

      The bill specifies certain prohibited uses of a senior-specific certification or professional designation as a dishonest or unethical practice.  These practices include, but are not limited to, use of:

      (1) a certification or professional designation by a person who has not actually earned or is otherwise ineligible to use such certification or designation;

      (2) a nonexistent or self-conferred certification or professional designation;

      (3) a certification or professional designation that indicates or implies a level of occupational qualifications obtained through education, training, or experience that the person using the certification or professional designation does not have; and

      (4) a certification or professional designation that was obtained from a certifying or designating organization that does not meet certain criteria as specified in the bill.

      The bill further provides that in determining whether a combination of words, or an acronym standing for a combination of words, constitutes a senior-specific certification or professional designation, the use of certain words, as specified in the bill, and the manner in which these words are combined, shall be considered factors in the determination. 

      Finally, the bill provides that a senior-specific certification or professional designation shall not include a job title within an organization that is licensed or registered by a state or federal financial services regulatory agency, in situations in which that job title indicates seniority or standing within the organization, or specifies an individual’s area of specialization within the organization.

      As the bill supplements the “Uniform Securities Law (1997),” the Bureau of Securities in the Division of Consumers Affairs of the Department of Law and Public Safety will administer the provisions of the bill.

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

      The committee amended the bill to provide that a person who engages in a misleading practice with respect to using senior-specific certifications or designations as to security sales has engaged in a dishonest or unethical practice.  The amendments further provide that the bureau chief may deny, suspend, or revoke the registration of any person who has engaged in such a practice.  The bureau chief may also provide penalties for such a violation by regulation, and these penalties shall be the exclusive penalties or remedies for a violation of the bill’s provisions.