For years, margins at the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers have been shrinking due to a variety of pressures — and now, a sea change looks likely to accelerate those forces.

That change comes in the form of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which requires all advisers and brokers to put their clients’ financial interests before their own when it comes to retirement accounts. That could have a chilling effect on what products they can recommend and sell.

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