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JPMorgan Delays Shifting Wealth Clients as U.S. Mulls Rules

April 13, 2017 / Source: Bloomberg

Hugh Son
April 11, 2017, 7:22 PM CDT April 12, 2017, 8:09 AM CDT

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is delaying a plan to move some wealth-management clients to a self-directed platform as the bank awaits word on whether the Trump administration will rewrite or scrap higher standards for brokers.

The lender had told some customers who currently have human advisers they would be transferred this month to a system letting them manage their own retirement accounts as the U.S. Department of Labor prepared to enact the so-called fiduciary rule, which seeks to ensure advisers pitch products in savers’ best interests.

But in a follow-up letter to clients this week, the New York-based bank said it’s holding off on the changes. Meanwhile, “your financial adviser can continue to provide you with investment guidance and assist with any service requests you may have on this account,” the firm wrote.

A bank spokesman confirmed the contents of the letter and declined to comment further.

Broadly, the pending Labor Department rule says advisers handling retirement accounts must give advice in a client’s best interest and shouldn’t earn more than reasonable compensation. Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum directing the regulator to review the measure, a move that’s left its fate in limbo.

The rule had been set to take effect this week, but the Labor Department moved to extend a deadline for compliance by two months as it continues the examination.