Financial Regulatory Forum

ACCELUS SUMMIT: Former U.S. SEC chief Pitt warns against imposing regulations abroad, urges industry engagement

Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, May 2 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The United States should recognize it can no longer impose its regulatory solutions on the rest of the world, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission head Harvey Pitt said on Thursday.

“The time when the U.S. could be arrogant is long over, as is the time when it could believe it could hold on to financial services in this country,” Pitt told the Thomson Reuters Accelus annual Compliance & Risk Summit in New York.  (more…)

New U.S. capital framework may prove burdensome for small banks

By Bora Yagiz

NEW YORK, June 25 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - As part of an effort to bring the United States in line with the international standards of Basel III, the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), on June 8, 2012, jointly proposed three rules dubbed together as the integrated regulatory capital framework.

Two of these rules, namely the proposal on Basel III, and the proposal on Standardized Approach (the approach used by small banks) would modify standards for risk-weighted assets calculation, set new minimum capital requirements and refine capital quality through various eligibility restrictions for all banks, savings associations, bank holding companies (BHC) with greater than $500 million of assets, and all savings and loan holding companies (SLHC). (more…)

Time to merge risk management and compliance?

By Rachel Wolcott

LONDON/NEW YORK, April 5 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Regulators’ rising interest in risk management combined with a long trail of big fines for compliance failures has some consultants and industry leaders wondering whether it is time for the two disciplines to come closer together if not merge completely.

More than ever there are areas of overlap between risk and compliance. Risk management is now hardwired into more rules and regulations since the beginning of the financial crisis. In the UK, for example, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) hasincreased its fines for risk management failures . The U.S.’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also indicated that it intends to take risk management as well as other governance and compliance issues even more seriously than in the past. (more…)

On the other hand: When Woodstock meets Wall Street

By Scott McCleskey

Nov. 29 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - If you didn’t know any different, you’d think the Occupy Wall Street movement was the kind of military operation so often criticized by people of a certain political temperament. It started off with a clear mission (financial reform), then suffered from mission creep (economic justice) and it never had an exit strategy. I think there was a surge in there somewhere as well but it’s hard to tell when they all live in tents.

The shame is that they had a point, in the beginning. Reforming the financial system is a gravely serious priority that is losing momentum. But by opening its arms to all who feel oppressed, repressed or suppressed, the inevitable result of the Occupy movement was that the original issue was lost in the noise. And as the movement begins to wind down it is likely to miss its greatest opportunity – to become the Tea Party of the Left.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Tea Party has been successful in grabbing the microphone and framing much of the conservative agenda. It may represent only a minority of Republican voters, but it will undoubtedly influence the outcome of the party’s nomination process and its 2012 platform. It does so by focusing on a few core issues, and has accomplished all this without an organized structure or dominant leader.

ANALYSIS – U.S. TARP program less costly, but not less controversial

By Dave Clarke

WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The government’s $700 billion bailout of the financial system may still be politically toxic, but for those who voted for the program, there is some good news: the taxpayer bill continues to drop.

On Thursday, congressional scorekeepers projected the overall deficit impact of the Troubled Asset Relief Program — or TARP — will be about $66 billion.

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ANALYSIS-Financial reform to give Obama limited lift at G20

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – The win President Barack Obama racked up on U.S. financial regulation reform on Friday will give him a boost at this weekend’s Group of 20 summit in Toronto but probably only a limited one.

In the shadow of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, the United States has often found its regulatory structure the target of fingerpointing by other G20 countries at recent summits.

The package agreed to by a joint House of Representatives and Senate negotiating panel would put new curbs on trading by banks, tighten bank capital rules and toughen regulation of derivatives.

PREVIEW-Final act begins in U.S. Congress on Wall St reform

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Negotiators from the U.S. Senate and House will begin meeting this week to craft a final Wall Street reform bill, with banks facing changes that threaten their profits, if not their business models.

Some congressional Democrats want to fashion a bill that forces a basic banking industry restructuring, but leaders will have to balance that agenda against the need to forge compromise legislation that retains some Republican support.

Analysts are expecting that fundamental restructuring will be avoided, “This bill is more about profitability and less about viability. That means the legislation will hurt the banking sector, but it will not sink it,” said Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst at investment firm Concept Capital.

PREVIEW-Wall St. reform’s final round in U.S. Senate

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – The Wall Street reform fight enters its final stages in the U.S. Senate this week with an overdue reckoning on three issues that cut to the heart of how, and for whom, the financial system works.

Although a final vote is expected within days on the White House’s top domestic priority, lawmakers have yet to settle disputes on regulating over-the-counter derivatives; curbing risky trading by banks; and the power of state authorities.

There will need to be resolution on these topics before the Senate can approve a massive Democratic bill designed to make the financial system less prone to crises like that of 2007-2009.

ANALYSIS-Franken bill unlikely to make credit ratings more reliable

By Karen Brettell

NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) – Legislation designed to create more independent credit ratings for risky assets may not result in more reliable indicators of an asset’s future performance and details on how the process would work are still unclear.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted in favor of a proposal by Democratic Senator Al Franken to create a clearinghouse that will be comprised in majority by investors including pension and other fund managers, who will be responsible for assigning a rating agency to rate complex products at their inception.

By removing the decision on who allocates the first rating on these assets from the issuers, the legislation aims to remove ratings shopping wherein issuers of risky debt could seek out agencies that gave more favorable ratings to assets.

Broad swath of CEOs line up against “Wall Street” reform provision – Washington Post

The U.S. Senate may call its financial regulatory overhaul a “Wall Street reform bill,” but corporate leaders from across U.S. industry are lining up to oppose one of  its provisions, the Washington Post writes. The newspaper says chief executives are lobbying to kill a “proxy access” provision of the legislation that would make it easier for shareholders to nominate board directors at publicly traded companies, and thus exercise a tighter rein on management.

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