Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. regulation risks a “Balkanization” of cross-border capital

By Henry Engler, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Mar. 12 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The term “unintended consequences” has often been used by critics of U.S. regulatory reform when characterizing its complexities. While well-intentioned individually, when unleashed in unison the multiple requirements banks that face become highly unpredictable, including across national borders. (more…)

Regulators have several options in dealing with CLOs under Volcker rule – law firm analysis

 By Henry Engler, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – In assessing what to do with collateralized loan obligations under the Volcker rule, regulators have several options, some that are better than others for the banking industry, a leading law firm advised clients on Monday this week.

The five regulatory agencies charged with implementation of the Volcker rule have come under fire from U.S. legislators over the Volcker rule’s treatment of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), an issue the regulators said was at the top of their list of unintended consequences. In essence, CLOs are treated as hedge fund investments under the rule, which was finalized on December 10, 2013. Such treatment came as shock to the industry, and led to a sharp decline in new issuance, with RBS reporting a 60 percent drop in January. (more…)

Volcker rule enforcement: Regulators attempt a united front

By Henry Engler, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 19 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The question of which regulator will take the lead in enforcing the complex Volcker rule took center stage this week, as U.S. lawmakers voiced concern over the lack of clear leadership among the five agencies in charge of the statute.

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, the heads of the five agencies — the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Securities Exchange Commission, FDIC, and Commodities Futures Trading Commission – found themselves questioned repeatedly over which agency was at the helm. (more…)

Financial Regulation in 2014: The Dust Hasn’t Settled For Compliance

By Compliance Complete, Thomson Reuters Accelus staff

The year 2013 saw a raft of new legislation stemming from regulators worldwide and 2014 looked like the year in which the dust would settle and that compliance professionals could spend focusing on implementing those changes. However, this has not been the case and compliance staff are still operating in a changing environment, where political pressures and cultural inertia mean that it is hard to pause for breath.

This year will still be one of implementation in a world that in some respects has not changed over the past seven years. A number of serious challenges will have to be tackled in 2014. They range from the international reach of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, the Volcker rule and cross-border derivatives regulations, to the minute complexities of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.

Read this in-depth special report from Thomson Reuters that looks at an array of regulatory initiatives and their impact on the current global economy and political world. Gain a better understanding of what 2014 will bring to market participants and how businesses should prepare to face the regulatory changes.

Small banks await regulatory fix on Trust Preferred Securities portion of the Volcker rule for capital decisions

By Bora Yagiz, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Banks that have relied over the years on a special type of assets to fulfill their capital requirements may soon have to restructure their investment portfolios to bring it in line with the Volcker rule limiting risky trading by banks. At stake is the treatment of the Trust Preferred Securities (TRuPS), whose inclusion as “investments in entities referred to as covered funds” such as collateralized loan obligations and collateralized debt obligations, would oblige banks to divest them in compliance with the Volcker rule.

The intent behind the complex Volcker rule is clear. It is aimed at limiting the exposure of banks to certain type of “covered funds” such as hedge funds or private equity funds to 3 percent, and to prevent them from engaging in proprietary trading, namely, trading with their customers’ funds for their own short term gains rather than trade on their clients’ behalf. It is, therefore, a rule to make banks’ investments less risky and more transparent. (more…)

Volcker could lead to boom in compliance hiring, says recruiter

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Jan. 6 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The adoption of the Volcker rule by five U.S. regulatory agencies last week means that thousands of lawyers and compliance professionals will be working overtime to understand how to comply with the rule while keeping within the spirit of the law.

The Volcker rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, aims to stop banks from betting on their own capital or making investments in hedge funds and private equity funds. To comply, banks must report certain trading metrics that prove that they are involved in market making or hedging, and not making proprietary bets.  (more…)

U.S. Volcker Rule places major new demands on compliance

By Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The Volcker Rule final version adopted on Tuesday by U.S. regulators imposes significant compliance demands on banks, with stricter prohibitions on proprietary trading than the initial proposal two years ago, narrower exemptions for market making and hedging and a requirement that chief executives are now required to annually certify to regulators that such a compliance plan is in place.
“As a foundation, the final Volcker Rule requires banking entities to have a robust compliance program, including defined limits on market making, underwriting and hedging activities as well as continuous monitoring and management of such activities. It also requires reporting to regulators on specific metrics and trading details,” U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said as the rule was adopted. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Volcker Rule, derivatives in U.S. business lobby’s sights for new year

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in contesting U.S. regulators’ implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawsuits challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the justification for the rules have stopped some rules in their tracks and forced the regulators to hire more economic analysts.

With a new Congress due to start on January 3, Compliance Complete sat down with three senior officials at the Chamber to discuss their priority issues for 2013. These include the Volcker rule banning risky trading by banks, exemptions for non-financial users of derivatives, the role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in money-market fund reform. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Volcker Rule, derivatives in U.S. business lobby’s sights for new year

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in contesting U.S. regulators’ implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawsuits challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the justification for the rules have stopped some rules in their tracks and forced the regulators to hire more economic analysts.

With a new Congress due to start on January 3, Compliance Complete sat down with three senior officials at the Chamber to discuss their priority issues for 2013. These include the Volcker rule banning risky trading by banks, exemptions for non-financial users of derivatives, the role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in money-market fund reform. (more…)

Big banks can be shrunk — here’s how

By Stuart Gittleman

NEW YORK, June 12 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – A need to break up big banks is one of the several lessons policy makers should have learned from the financial crisis that have either been ignored or forgotten, according to Phil Angelides, who chaired the congressionally appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

If the largest banks can only be run so recklessly that they harm the economy as well as themselves, they should be broken up, Angelides said in a talk at the Center for National Policy, an independent Washington D.C. think tank. (more…)

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