Better Markets Rips Wall Street Lawsuit to Upend Best Interest Fiduciary Duty Rule

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has joined with a group of Wall Street trade groups – including the Financial Services Institute, Financial Services Roundtable, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association – and filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule for brokers and registered investment advisers.

Dennis Kelleher Better Markets

Dennis Kelleher
Better Markets

The industry plaintiffs are represented by Eugene Scalia, Jason J. Mendro, Paul Blankenstein, Rachel E. Mondl, and James C. Ho of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

The Chamber said in a statement that “instead of helping savers plan for retirement, the new rule will unfortunately restrict their access to affordable retirement advice and limit their options for saving.” The rule will shackle Main Street financial advisors with extensive new requirements and constant liability, forcing them to limit the options and guidance they provide to retirement savers.

But Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets headlined the Chamber’s legal move as “Wall Street’s Desperate, Shameless Lawsuit to Protect Profits Over Its Clients’ Best Interests.”

“If Wall Street really cared about Main Street it would already act in its clients’ best interest, rather than secretly pocketing tens of billions of dollars from hardworking Americans just trying to save for a decent retirement,” Kelleher said. “After spending five years and tens of millions of dollars fighting against the DOL’s rule, this lawsuit is Wall Street’s desperate, last-ditch effort to kill it.  They don’t want this long-overdue, carefully-considered, and well-crafted rule to require them to do what they should have been doing all along:  put their clients’ best interests first when giving retirement investment advice.”

“Adding insult to injury, Wall Street is attacking the rule in court, while shamelessly asking the court to slam the door on retirement savers and force them into unfair, biased industry arbitration forums when they are ripped off by Wall Street’s unscrupulous advisers.  In addition, Wall Street is brazenly attempting to shop for a favorable court by filing the lawsuit in Federal District Court in Dallas, Texas, where the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is believed to be especially friendly to businesses rather than consumers and investors.”

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