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April 16, 2015

Reaction to retirement advisor conflict-of-interest rule is muted, but fight looms

A newly proposed rule to ban retirement planners from creating conflicts of interest with their customers might appear to put an end to the years-long policy fight over the issue.


“This is going to be the biggest battle since Dodd-Frank, hands down,” said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of financial reform advocacy group Better Markets Inc., referring to the sweeping 2010 financial reform law.
Kelleher said the industry can be expected to redouble its efforts to kill or mute the rule with $17 billion in annual revenue at stake. That’s the amount the Obama administration said is unfairly diverted to Wall Street and other financial intermediaries in fees because of conflicted advice given to customers.
Kelleher, of Better Markets, said publication of the rule marked “a day Wall Street hoped would never come.”
“Today’s proposed rule,” he said, “would mean tens of billions of retirement dollars stay in Americans’ pockets and not be moved into Wall Street’s profits. That is why Wall Street will not stop trying to kill the rule it hoped the American people would never see.”
Read the full LA Times article by Dean Starkman here.
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