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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > DOL

Obama to meet with financial regulators ahead of fiduciary rule

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(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama will meet Monday with financial regulators who are finishing new rules to manage financial markets, a White House official said.

The participants, who the White House did not name, will discuss efforts to implement consumer financial protections and combat abusive practices by the financial industry that predated the 2008 financial crisis, the official said. The official requested anonymity to discuss a meeting that has not yet been publicly announced.

The administration is gearing up to release a new ”fiduciary” rule that will require brokers handling retirement accounts to put their clients’ best interests first. Currently, brokers are required only to offer investments that fit a client’s needs and risk tolerance at the time of sale. The brokerage industry largely opposes the new rule.

Under the Labor Department’s proposed rule, brokers could earn sales commissions and other income if they sign a “best-interest” contract with investors to disclose fees and incentives that might influence recommendations.

The meeting also comes on the heels of a Labor Department jobs report released Friday that showed a gain of 242,000 jobs, in the longest stretch of private-sector job growth on record. The report also said average hourly earnings dropped in the first monthly decline in more than a year.

“There seems to be an alternative reality out there” that “America’s down in the dumps,” Obama said after meeting with economic officials on Friday. “America’s pretty darn great right now.”

–With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky and Margaret Collins.