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Inside Washington (09/18/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (9/19/12)--After a quiet summer, financial system regulators are under pressure to release a slate of contentious new rules before the end of 2012, according to the American Banker (Sept. 18). Among the areas the rules will cover a ban on proprietary-trading ban, mortgage regulations and a scheme for identifying systemically important financial institutions (American Banker Sept. 18). First, the Volcker Rule, a provision to stop banks from engaging in proprietary trading, was supposed to become effective two months ago. Martin Gruenberg, the acting Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairman, last week said regulators are working toward completing the rule by year-end. Second, the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to finalize a qualified mortgage (QM) rule by Jan. 21 that would require lenders to verify a borrower's ability to repay unless a loan is a QM. Lenders and consumer advocates have argued over the definition of a QM, and how much lenders should be protected from liability when they make loans that involve qualified QMs. Third, the Federal Reserve is reviewing two sets of proposals that would establish new industry standards under section 165 of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Basel III accord. The Dodd-Frank rules would set new capital and liquidity standards, and other requirements, for systemically important financial institutions. The agency also released a proposal to implement capital and liquidity requirements under the Basel III accord. However, industry observers say the complexity of the Dodd-Frank rules and the Basel III proposal may prevent their approval by the end of the year. Fourth, the Financial Stability Oversight Council is expected move forward "in earnest" with establishing rules formally designating certain nonbanks as systemically important financial institutions, said Coryann Stefansson, managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. And finally, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is expected to finalize several derivative regulations in the fourth quarter, according to industry observers …


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