OCC Leads the Charge on Rolling Back the Volcker Rule

A specific proposal to ease the Volcker Rule is being evaluated by regulators appointed by President Trump, with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency taking the lead in the efforts, Bloomberg reports.

Most recently, the OCC circulated a blueprint to other regulators, including the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Commodity Futures Trading Commission for making the rule more-friendly to banks. The draft relies heavily on June recommendations issued by the Treasury Department in June. In those recommendations, the Treasury Department outlined steps to give firms more leeway to trade and soften constraints on their ability to invest in private-equity and hedge funds.

Bloomberg reports that Former Acting Comptroller Keith Noreika, who left the OCC in November, shared the draft with five agencies, including the four previously mentioned, that all have to agree on revising the rule, though spokesmen for those agencies declined to comment.

Despite the developments, it remains to be seen how soon revisions to Volcker could take effect. Fed Vice Chairman Randal Quarles, the central bank official in charge of overseeing Wall Street, indicated last week that there isn’t yet a consensus behind what’s on the table, saying in a speech that “it will naturally take a bit of work for the agencies to congeal around a thoughtful” revision of Volcker.

SFIG members previously submitted a response to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's request for information regarding revisions to the Volcker Rule in September. If you would like to join SFIG's Volcker Task Force, please contact Alyssa.Acevedo@sfindustry.org.

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