Elderly savers left vulnerable by Administration’s abandonment of broker-conflict rule

Politico reports on continuing debate over rules to protect people from financial advisors' who put their own interests above those of the clients that they are advising.

Older savers are often the targets of brokers’ self-enriching sales that saddle them with expensive products or investments they can’t easily exchange for cash, interviews with financial advisers and their clients show. And the problem is probably being underreported since seniors are usually reluctant to disclose questionable conduct, they say. Fourteen days after his inauguration, Trump heeded pleas from the business community and ordered the conflict-of-interest rule to be reconsidered. The so-called fiduciary rule required brokers to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own compensation when offering retirement advice. They also had to disclose fees and commissions more directly to customers. Earlier this year, the Justice Department declined to defend the rule after it was vacated by an appeals court …. Now, the focus is on the SEC, which offered its own version of an investment advice regulation in April. The proposal — whose comment period ended on Tuesday — has broader support in the industry than did the fiduciary rule. Yet some Wall Street analysts and consumer advocates say it would be softer on brokerage businesses and insurance companies than the Obama-era measure and wouldn’t allow for investor lawsuits.

The full article is here.

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