After nearly a decade in the making, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule appears to be officially dead. On June 21st, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its mandate that finalized its earlier decision vacating the rule—discussed here. Along with the regulation that expanded the definition of investment fiduciary, the mandate wipes out the Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction exemptions. Recognizing that many fiduciaries have invested significant compliance resources in reliance on those exemptions, however, the Department of Labor has issued a "no enforcement" policy that continues prohibited transaction relief as if those exemptions were still available. The "no enforcement" policy applies for fiduciaries who "are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the [exemptions'] impartial conduct standards." It is discussed here and will remain in effect until DOL issues new guidance. Meanwhile, the SEC published proposed conflict of interest rules for broker-dealers and investment advisers. The comment period for the SEC's proposal runs to August 7, 2018—discussed here.
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