Rules In Focus Newsletter

Rules in Focus is FSR’s regulatory newsletter featuring the latest insights from the Fed, CFPB, SEC and other major regulators that oversee the financial services industry and the implementation of the Dodd Frank law.

Rules in Focus: Federal Reserve Report Suggests Repeal of Certain Bank Powers and Supervisory Exemptions

September 27, 2016

On September 8, three federal banking regulators released a joint report to the Congress and the Financial Stability Oversight Council Pursuant to Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The report analyzed permissible activities of different banking entities the three agencies currently regulate and the risks inherent in such activities. In a surprising development, the Federal Reserve Board (the “Board”) used the report to suggest that Congress curtail certain lending powers and terminate the ability of certain financial holding companies to evade direct supervision at the federal level. The co-authors of the report, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), made no formal recommendations.

Rules In Focus: DOL Filing Asks Court to Uphold Its New Fiduciary Regulation

August 25, 2016

The Department of Labor (“DoL”) filed, on August 19, a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas opposing FSR and other plaintiffs’ (Plaintiffs) motions for summary judgment in Plaintiffs’ legal challenge to DoL’s new definition of investment-advice fiduciary and its subsequent rulemaking (“fiduciary regulation”). DoL also filed a cross-motion seeking summary judgment in its favor on all of Plaintiffs’ claims.

Rules In Focus: FSR Notes Problems with Regulatory Proposal on Incentive-Based Compensation

August 3, 2016

On July 22, the Financial Services Roundtable (“FSR”) submitted comments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) (jointly, “Agencies”) regarding a joint-agency incentive-based compensation proposal. As well as an individual letter to the agencies, FSR also participated in a joint-industry comment letter with several other trade associations.

Rules In Focus: FSOC Rescinds GE Capital Designation

June 30, 2016

On June 29, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) announced that it had voted unanimously to withdraw its determination that the failure of GE Capital would pose a threat to the stability of the United States. As a result of this determination, GE Capital will no longer be subject to the enhanced prudential standards or the supervision of the Federal Reserve Board.

Rules In Focus: FSR Joins Lawsuit to Overturn DOL Rule on Definition of Fiduciary

June 10, 2016

FSR, along with eight trade associations (Associations), filed a legal challenge on June 1 to the Department of Labor’s Final Fiduciary Rule (Rule) and related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs). In the lawsuit, the Associations allege the “Rule and PTEs overstep the Department’s authority, create unwarranted burdens and liabilities, would undermine the interests of retirement savers, and are contrary to law.”

Rules In Focus: House Holds Hearing on Improving SEC Procedures

May 24, 2016

On May 17, the House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises held a hearing to obtain input from a panel of experts on three bills that would seek to streamline and modernize the SEC’s regulatory mission.

The Investment Advisers Modernization Act of 2016, would ease SEC reporting and registration requirements for private equity funds and other investment pools involving sophisticated investors. The SEC Regulatory Accountability Act, would require the SEC to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for any new regulations or rules while also providing a longer “notice and comment period” on these regulations and rules. The Proxy Advisory Firm Reform Act of 2016, would bring proxy advisory firms into the SEC’s regulatory framework by requiring these firms to abide by new SEC registration and disclosure requirements.

Rules in Focus: House Adopts Legislation to Overide DoL Proposed Fiduciary Rule

February 12, 2016

Two House committees approved legislation last week that would override the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule, which is expected to have a significantly negative impact on the middle class Americans’ ability to save for retirement.

Last week, the House Education and Workforce Committee approved the “Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act” (H.R. 4293), introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), and the “Strengthening Access to Valuable Education and Retirement Support Act” (H.R. 4294), introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL). The recorded vote was 22 Republicans in favor to 14 Democrats opposed.

Rules in Focus: Fiduciary Rule to Be Finalized in Coming Months, Says DoL Secretary

January 29, 2016

On January 28, the Department of Labor (DoL) submitted the final rule redefining “investment advice fiduciary” under ERISA to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez told reporters on a call earlier this week that a final version of the rule will be released in a matter of months. Given the anticipated timing for release of the final rule, it appears that DoL will not solicit public comment on the revised rule proposal submitted to OMB. OMB has up to 90 days to review the rule though an expedited process could take as little as four to six weeks. The rule would then be sent back to the Department of Labor and published in the Federal Register.