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June 3, 2015

Better Markets Statement on SIFMA’s Latest Attempt to Kill DOL’s Proposed Rule to End Conflicts of Interest and Put the Clients’ Best Interests First

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement on SIFMA’s proposal released today purporting to be a “best interest” standard, but which is really little more than its latest attempt to kill DOL’s proposed fiduciary duty rule:

“SIFMA, a Wall Street trade group, admits it is the ‘voice of the U.S. securities industry, representing broker-dealers,’ Wall Street banks and others. SIFMA works to promote and protect their interests. The Department of Labor (DOL) has a very different mission: it is legally required to protect Americans saving for retirement, and it is trying to do just that with its proposed rule. The DOL’s rule would end conflicts of interest and require SIFMA’s brokers and other members to put their retirement clients’ best interests first. The rule is essential and long-overdue because hard-working Americans saving for retirement are losing more than $17 billion every year to brokers and others SIFMA represents due to those conflicts of interest, according to a study by the Council of Economic Advisors.

“In sharp contrast, the proposal SIFMA announced today simply is not a ‘best interests’ fiduciary standard that will protect Americans saving for retirement. Rather than prohibiting conflicts of interests and requiring brokers to provide advice in their clients’ best interests, SIFMA’s proposal would allow brokers to continue business essentially as usual, under the fatally flawed nostrum that more disclosure can solve the problem. SIMFA’s proposal also attempts once again to delay DOL’s rule and to subordinate the DOL to the SEC, which has not acted for decades and has a different legal mandate. Anyone who really cares about workers and retirees in this country should be supporting DOL’s rule, which will require SIFMA’s brokers and others to put their clients’ best interests first.”

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Better Markets is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes the public interest in financial reform in the domestic and global capital and commodity markets. Better Markets advocates for transparency, oversight and accountability with the goal of a stronger, safer financial system that is less prone to crisis and failure thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for more taxpayer funded bailouts. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

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