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Alternative Market Briefing

Regulators pass Volcker rule, financial firms have one year to comply

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

The SEC along with the other US financial regulating agencies agreed to the Volcker rule today, moving forward a key provision of the Dodd-Frank legislation. The final rules prohibit insured depository institutions and companies affiliated with insured depository institutions from engaging in short-term proprietary trading of certain securities, derivatives, commodity futures and options on these instruments, for their own account. The final rules also impose limits on banking entities’ investments in, and other relationships with, hedge funds or private equity funds.

Wall Street has been battling against the rule, and hoping to mitigate some of its impact to their bottom line. However, most of the original intent of the rule survived final passage. Regulators are giving financial firms a little over one year to comply - until July 21, 2015.

The compliance requirements under the final rules vary based on the size of the banking entity and the scope of activities conducted. The final version of the rule clocks in at nearly 1000 pages - 978 to be exact, and breaks out the formulas for covered financial firms as well as for those who fail to meet minimum activity thresholds. Certain exceptions are also allowed for activities like hedging.

The New York Times DealBook ......................

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