CUNA urged the Department of Labor (DOL) Thursday to provide further clarification that credit unions are not the target of its fiduciary rule, and to provide any necessary carve-outs to ensure credit unions’ ability to provide information about consumer-friendly products is not impacted.
In the letter, sent in response to a DOL request for information on the delay of the rule’s implementation, CUNA also urged the agency to delay the applicability dates of all parts of the rule until potential unintended consequences are researched.
“CUNA supports the DOL’s decision to continue to analyze potential unintended consequences of the fiduciary rule, including any detrimental impact it could have on credit union members of modest means seeking investment and retirement savings products,” the letter reads. “Credit unions support the goal of this rule to protect investors and encourage all advisers to act in the investor’s best interest. However, we believe because of the complexity of this rule and the uncertainty about compliance deadlines and applicability, a more clear-cut timeline for delay and additional analysis of the fiduciary rule would benefit credit union members.”
CUNA has outlined in previous letters to the DOL that the compliance burdens that come with the rule are inappropriate for member-owned financial cooperatives, which seek to provide a wide variety of products and services to consumers to help with planning for the future.
CUNA believes that any ambiguity or uncertainty in this area could cause credit unions and other community financial institutions to curtail such offerings.
The DOL announced a phased implementation of the rule in May, which runs through Jan. 1, 2018. During this time, the DOL will not enforce claims against fiduciaries working diligently and in good faith.