DOL Fiduciary News: January 19, 2017
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DOL proposes allowing some insurance intermediaries to use a BICE under fiduciary rule
InvestmentNews; Jan 18, 2017 @ 1:47 pm
The Department of Labor issued a proposed rule (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/19/2017-01316/best-interest-contract-exemption-for-insurance-intermediaries) Wednesday that would ease compliance with its fiduciary rule for some distributors of fixed annuity products such as indexed annuities.
The rule is a proposed class exemption (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-01316.pdf) that, if granted, would allow insurance intermediaries known as independent marketing organizations, as well as the insurance agents they contract with, to continue selling indexed annuities on commission in retirement accounts such as IRAs.
Report: Review of 25 Major Brokerage Firms and Insurance Companies Find All Posing As Fiduciaries, Misleading Consumers
WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Twenty-five top U.S. brokerage firms and insurance companies present their employees as trusted financial advisors putting client interests first even as their lobbyists argue in court that they are nothing more than commission-driven salespeople, according to a major new report from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Americans for Financial Reform (AFR). The report also dissects how brokerage firms and insurance companies are systematically misleading unwary consumers.
Entitled "Financial Advisor or Investment Salesperson: Brokers and Insurers Want to Have It Both Ways" (http://consumerfed.org/reports/financial-advisor-or-investment-salesperson-brokers-and-insurers-want-to-have-it-both-ways), the report written by Micah Hauptman and Barbara Roper, Consumer Federation of America, scrutinizes the websites for the brokerage firms and insurance companies and contrasts the practices they use to attract customers with those they use when resisting regulation as fiduciary advisers. It comes at a time when some in the brokerage and insurance industries are working feverishly, in court, on Capitol Hill and at Department of Labor (DOL) itself, to overturn a rule requiring financial professionals to act in the best interests of their clients.