Developments in Securities Regulation, Corporate Governance, Capital Markets, M&A and Other Topics of Interest. MORE

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is seeking comment to assist in determining how the final rule implementing section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act, which is referred to as the Volcker Rule, could be revised to better accomplish the purposes of the statute. The OCC’s request is limited to regulatory actions that may be undertaken to achieve these objectives; the OCC is not requesting comment on changes to the underlying Volcker statute.

The OCC’s notice indicates that a report recently issued by the Department of the Treasury identifies problems with the design of the final rule – the inclusion of a “purpose” test for defining proprietary trading, for example. The report also contains recommendations for revisions to the final rule. The OCC’s objective in issuing the notice is to gather additional, more specific information that could provide focused support for any reconsideration of the final rule that the rulewriting agencies (i.e. the OCC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and in consultation and coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission) may undertake and contribute to the development of the bases for particular changes that may be proposed.

The information that the OCC is soliciting could support the revisions to the final rule advanced in the Treasury Report and elsewhere; it also may support additional revisions that are consistent with the spirit of the Treasury Report. In any case, the OCC and the other Volcker rulewriting agencies will need to explain the basis for any changes to the current rule that may be proposed.