Trump to delay rule requiring retirement advisers to avoid conflicts: official

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2017 5:33 AM

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday will direct the Labor Department to delay implementation and review a rule designed to prevent conflicts of interest when advisers give retirement advice, a senior White House official said.

"We think that they have exceeded their authority with this rule and we think this is something that is completely overreaching," the official told reporters at a briefing on Thursday.

Trump has pledged to sharply reduce U.S. regulations, which he says have harmed American businesses.

The retirement advice rule was issued by the Obama administration and was set to take effect in April. It has been staunchly opposed by the financial services industry.

Opponents of the rule argued that the rule would result in high costs that will ultimately make small accounts unprofitable.

While some lawsuits were filed against the rule, companies like Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley had announced plans to cooperate with the rule.

The Labor Department had estimated that it could cost firms as much as $31 billion over the next decade to comply.

Trump's memo will ask the Labor Department to determine whether the rule should be revised or whether it should be scrapped altogether, the official said.

Trump will also sign an order on Friday that will ask the Treasury secretary work with other regulators to determine what the administration can do to fix issues with measures issued under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

Earlier this week during a meeting with business owners, Trump described the reform law as "a disaster."

"There are quite a few things that we could do on Dodd-Frank ... that we think will have fairly immediate and dramatic impact," the official said, including personnel changes at regulatory agencies and additional executive orders.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)