OCC (and others) to seek comment on revising ‘Volcker Rule’

Public input on revising “the Volcker Rule” – which bans banks from conducting certain investment activities with their own accounts, and limits their relationships with hedge and private equity funds — is being sought by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the agency announced today.

Additionally, the OCC indicated that its notice today is the initial step of a joint effort by federal regulators to revise the rule.

The agency is seeking a 45-day comment period.

OCC described its notice about revising the regulation (which was set in place by section 619 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act) as an effort to determine if the “compliance burden” on banking entities could be decreased, and if economic growth could be fostered.

“In particular, the OCC invites input on ways to tailor the rule’s requirements and clarify key provisions that define prohibited and permissible activities,” OCC wrote. “The agency also seeks input on how the federal regulatory agencies could implement the existing rule more effectively without revising the regulation.”

OCC also noted that revising the rule was a “significant part” of the Treasury’s June report, “A Financial System That Creates Economic Opportunities/Banks and Credit Unions.”

In a statement, Acting Comptroller Keith Noreika said the OCC’s comment request is a piece of a larger interagency effort to improve the rule – and indicated that a joint rulemaking by regulators is forthcoming. “I look forward to reviewing the comments and to joining the other regulators soon on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend the regulation,” Noreika said. “A bipartisan consensus has emerged that the Volcker Rule needs clarification and recalibration to eliminate burden on banks that do not engage in covered activities and do not present systemic risks. Regulators do not have a monopoly on good ideas. Public input will help inform our path forward with the views, concerns, and data of those affected by this rule and provides for a more inclusive and transparent process.”

OCC Solicits Public Comments on Revising the Volcker Rule