January 19, 2017

Sen. Warren Asks Financial Institutions if they Support Delay, Rollback of Financial Adviser Conflict of Interest Rules

Raises Concerns About Pending Anti-Consumer Actions by President-Elect Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today sent a letter to 33 financial firms asking them whether they support delaying and rolling back a newly finalized Department of Labor (DOL) rule that would protect middle class investors from costly financial advisor conflicts of interest. This letter follows recent reports that the incoming administration of President-elect Trump will seek to delay the DOL "fiduciary rule."

"As you know, the United States faces a retirement crisis," wrote Senator Warren. "With rising costs, and flat wages, it's harder than ever for Americans to save.  I think we can agree that the very least we should do is ensure investment adviser fees, commissions, and kickbacks aren't draining away the money Americans do manage to save.  DOL's rule does just that."

The letter highlights the initial positive impacts of the new DOL rule, including lower prices and the elimination of some of the most dangerous sales incentives, such as product offerings tied to prizes, vacations, and other kickbacks for the adviser.

The letter continues, "Given these positive changes in the market, any efforts to roll-back these new protections will be devastating to consumers."

Senator Warren wrote to companies that have already begun implementing changes to ensure that their advisers will now offer investment products that are in the best interest of clients. "Given the work your company has already done to implement this important new rule, I wanted to find out whether you will support the next administration's efforts to reverse the significant progress your company, and many companies industry-wide, have already made toward meeting this higher standard," wrote Senator Warren.

The letter requests that the companies provide answers to a series of questions about the Senator's concerns. The following is the full list of companies that received the letter:

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Capital One Financial
JP Morgan Chase & Co.
Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P.
Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Morgan Stanley
Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Charles Schwab & Co.
John Hancock Financial Services, Inc.
U.S. Bancorp
Voya Financial, Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
BBVA Compass Bancshares
BlackRock, Inc.
Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.
Commonwealth Financial Network
Fidelity Investments
Legg Mason, Inc.
LPL Financial LLC
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Principal Financial Group
Royal Bank of Canada
SunTrust Banks
Symetra Life Insurance Company
TD Ameritrade, Inc.
Vanguard Group
Prudential Financial, Inc.
Transamerica Corporation

The copies of the letters are available here (15 MB)