Bank of America's Moynihan: No quick pullback from fiduciary rule

Chairman and CEO of the bank that contains Merrill Lynch says the DOL regulation is part of a larger trend in financial services

Jul 18, 2017 @ 1:56 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Bank of America Corp's chairman and CEO, Brian Moynihan, does not see a quick pullback from the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.

The bank's global wealth and investment management group, which contains Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, last year said it was eliminating commissions from advised brokerage IRAs, sending a shock through the investment advice industry. The goal of the rule is to eliminate potential conflicts brokers face when recommending one product to clients rather than another.

The November election of Donald J. Trump was widely seen as an opening for the repeal of the fiduciary rule, along with a number of provisions from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.

During a conference call Tuesday morning with investors to discuss second quarter results, Mr. Moynihan was asked whether the fiduciary rule could be repealed. He responded: "Let's see what happens. I don't think it's going to change our thinking." He added that the DOL fiduciary rule was part of a larger trend in financial services that is bringing prices down for consumers.

Meanwhile, the number of Merrill Lynch advisers increased 1.8% to 14,811 at the end of June compared to the previous quarter, a net addition of 254 for the three months.

And Merrill Lynch will look to continue to expand the brokers and advisers under its roof, he said.

"We have a tremendous customer base that is underserved in the investment management area. We are going to continue to grow" the number of advisers, Mr. Moynihan said. "You should expect that number to continue to go up."

Growth in the number of advisers came despite Merrill Lynch recently losing highly productive financial advisers. In May, Merrill Lynch, along with rival Morgan Stanley, said it was reducing its reliance on recruiting experienced advisers and putting renewed focus on training younger advisers and building staff.

Global wealth and investment management also reported a record $804 million of net income, an increase of 14% when compared to the same quarter a year earlier.


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


How men and women think differently about philanthropy

Women are more emotionally connected to their gifts, and want to donate time as well, says special projects editor Liz Skinner.

Latest news & opinion

The power of philanthrophy shifts to women, and advisers are taking notice

Philanthropic women are growing in number — and stature.

Cetera brokers may go elsewhere with no stay bonuses on horizon

Some may feel spurned and leave, while others will simply shrug off latest slight and stay.

Fidelity backs away from being 'point in time' fiduciary for 401(k) plans

Some advisers think this indicates other providers will pivot in light of DOL fiduciary rule's death.

Morgan Stanley CEO is happy that brokers are staying put

Firm has seen little attrition since it dumped the broker protocol last fall, Gorman says.

Bills to reform adviser regulation, increase sophisticated investors and protect seniors pass House

Measures included in package of 32 bipartisan bills meant to ease rules, spur investment


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print