DoL Rule Non-Delay Disappointment Spreads
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DoL Rule Non-Delay Disappointment Spreads

Last night Alex Acosta cleared up the future of fiduciary reg, a little, and people had quite a few things to say about it.

Virginia Foxx

Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Opponents of the rule did not take the op-ed well. For instance, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce stated:

The secretary's decision does not provide the relief workers and families urgently need from a deeply flawed rule. If this is the path the department is determined to take, then it must quickly develop a responsible solution for dealing with a regulatory scheme that will make it harder and more costly for low- and middle-income families to save for retirement.

A few industry organizations released statements that while critical of the move were still sympathetic of Acosta.

“While we are disappointed in this latest development, we agree with the guiding principles Secretary Acosta outlined…” FSI president and CEO Dale Brown stated.

“While we are disappointed that the Department of Labor has chosen not to further delay the rule until the Department has completed a review of the entire rule’s impact on investors, we appreciate Secretary Acosta's recognition of the rule's negative impact and his desire to seek public input,” Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr, SIFMA president and CEO, said.

Very few people had anything positive to say. According to CNBC, analysts at Compass Point Research and Trading expect changes to the rule that will benefit people in the financial industry.

"This surprising development is a near-term negative for an industry that had expected more immediate regulatory relief, but all indications are that this rule will ultimately be relaxed," Compass analysts said in a note to clients. "We maintain our view that the likeliest outcome for the fiduciary rule is a revamped construct that lessens the associated legal liability and softens the treatment of variable and indexed annuities."

Clean shares received a lot of attention since the DoL staff mentioned them in their FAQ quite a few times, and a few people saw this as an opportunity.

"Maybe the Labor Department sees clean shares as an effective means of reducing the compliance burden of BICE, and achieving the objective of giving plans best-interest advice," Charles Humphrey, a former attorney for the DoL and IRS, tells InvestmentNews.

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