February 24, 2017 / 10:58 PM / 6 months ago

Industry groups appeal Texas judge's ruling upholding retirement rule

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce appealed a Texas federal judge's ruling upholding a Labor Department's regulation aimed at putting retirement savers' interest first on Friday, the latest salvo in the securities industry's fight against the regulation.

Earlier this month, Chief Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas ruled against the Chamber of Commerce and its many co-plaintiffs, dismissing its arguments that the Labor Department had exceeded its legal authority creating the rule, and that it had failed to conduct an adequate cost-benefit analysis to help justify the regulation.

The Labor Department's "fiduciary" rule requires brokers to put their clients' best interests first when advising them about individual retirement accounts or 401(k) retirement plans.

Calling the rule costly and overly burdensome, trade groups for the securities and insurance industries filed lawsuits aiming to block to rule in three federal courts last year.

Two judges have ruled to uphold the rule, and a third judge rejected an effort to suspend the rule's implementation.

The group's appeal will be considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that it stood by its assertion that the Department of Labor exceeded its authority. It said the rule "creates unwarranted litigation risk for financial advisors, who will face the threat of meritless class action lawsuits challenging their every move." (Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts; editing by Grant McCool)

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