Investment Professionals

U.K. Experience Suggests Retirement Savers Will Benefit from DOL Rule to Rein in Conflicts of Interest, Promote Best Interest Advice

Last week, the government of the United Kingdom released a report analyzing the state of the U.K.’s financial advice market, including the effects that banning commissions and other regulatory changes have had on that market. The report presents a largely positive picture, indicating that the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) reforms have significantly improved the quality of financial advice. But it also suggests that more can and should be done to make the provision of advice and guidance to the mass market “more cost-effective.” Predictably, opponents of the Department of Labor’s proposed conflict of interest rule have seized on the report – or at least carefully cherry-picked quotes from the report – to reiterate their oft-repeated claim that the DOL rule is likely to cause middle income retirement savers to lose access to affordable advice. Contrary to their misleading depiction, the DOL rule would help to ensure that individuals, including many middle income workers and retirees, who prefer to pay for investment advice through commissions aren’t relegated to these second class services and instead get the best interest advice they expect and deserve.  A complete and unbiased reading of the U.K. experience suggests this is an achievable goal.