WASHINGTON –Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president and director of policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s announcement that the Department of Labor will propose regulations to place limits on kickbacks given to financial advisors for selling products that are not in the customers’ best financial interest:
“Today’s announcement is a much-needed step in improving an outdated system that has cost working and middle-class families billions of dollars in retirement savings due to biased, unethical financial advice.
In the aftermath of the greatest loss of wealth ever recorded in communities of color as a result of the housing crisis, many families have looked to their retirement portfolios as a source of stability in retirement. When these communities turn to financial advisors for help, they’re expecting sound advice that will maximize their return on investment—not a sales pitch for investments that undercut their financial stability.
These proposed protections will strengthen Americans’ retirement security by helping to end the kickbacks and backdoor payments that some Wall Street firms and brokers receive for leading savers into bad investment plans—the same kind of loopholes and incentives that helped trigger our country’s financial crisis.
We applaud President Obama and Secretary Perez for taking this vital step toward ensuring that all savers receive sound advice from financial professionals who are legally required to put their customers’ interests first.”
Nancy Zirkin is the executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference, visit www.civilrights.org.