President Donald Trump is taking his first steps aimed at scaling back financial services regulations, and the Republican-run Congress cast a vote early Friday signaling that it's eager to help.
The president signed an executive order that will direct the Treasury secretary to review a 2010 financial oversight law, which reshaped financial regulation after the 2008-09 financial crisis.
Trump also signed a presidential memorandum Friday that instructs the Labor Department to delay implementing the "fiduciary rule," which was aimed at blocking financial advisers from steering clients toward investments with higher commissions and fees that can eat away at retirement savings.
Dory Rand, a consumer advocate and president of the Woodstock Institute in Chicago, spoke with The Associated Press about impact on consumers.
The rule, which was set to take effect in April, will be delayed for 90 days while it's reviewed.
Critics argue the rule limits retirees' investment choices by forcing asset managers to steer them to the lowest-risk options.
Trump also signed a presidential memorandum that instructs the Labor Department to delay implementing an Obama-era rule that requires financial professionals who charge commissions to put their clients' best interests first when giving advice on retirement investments.
While the financial oversight order won't have any immediate impact, the administration's intent is clear.
"Not having a fiduciary standard is very expensive for consumers, because it allows the people selling them retirement investment vehicles to put their own interests first. And to line their pockets rather than putting the customer's best interest first."
"My biggest fear is that American workers and retirees will have less financial security if the rule is not implemented than they would have under the new rule.That means they'll have less money to pay their bills, less money to pass down to the next generation, and probably more reliance on social security and government programs than if they had more of their own money in the pockets."
"If the fiduciary rule is not implemented as scheduled in April of this year, the winners are the Wall Street firms who give conflicted advice and don't put consumer's interests first. And the big losers are American workers and retirees who get ripped off to the tune of $17-billion a year."
"Consumers who are not financially sophisticated are at greatest risk, because research shows that most people believe when they ask for retirement investment advice that the people giving it to them are putting their best interests first."