Brokerages may have to change business practices: DOL

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Conflicts of interest have been running rampant throughtout the financial services industry. Most advisors have good intentions and work hard for their clients. However it only takes a few to force regulators to step in.

Revenue sharing, or fees that brokerages receive from some securities issuers for promoting those products, can sway advisers to recommend them to IRA investors, even when those products are not in the client’s best interest, Borzi told Reutersin a recent interview.”By and large, are compensating brokers for steering clients to their products,” said Borzi, the proposal’s chief architect. “If a brokerage’s business model is built around compensating them for giving conflicted advice, then they would have to change their advice.”

Until recently, the Labor Dept. focused its attention on 401(k)s and largely left IRA advice alone. That changed with its a recent proposal to update a piece of ERISA.

If the ERISA update moves IRA advice under the fiduciary definition, brokerages will likely have to make significant changes to their compensation models. That’s because they would no longer be able to act in a clients best interest under ERISA in cases where they receive money from a securities issuer.

The fiduciary standard is coming.

Please comment or call to discuss.

  • US agency will repropose plan for a fiduciary standard (
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