Agencies are close to finishing Volcker Rule changes: FDIC's McWilliams

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WASHINGTON — Regulators are closing in on a final plan to simplify how banks comply with the Volcker Rule, said Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Jelena McWilliams.

The federal banking agencies proposed changes last year to ease complexity for banks subject to the proprietary trading ban, but large institutions criticized the plan for unintended consequences that they said could make the rule more burdensome.

In March, McWilliams and Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said the regulators were looking at numerous options on how to proceed, including finalizing just the least controversial portions of the plan.

“We hope to be able to finalize changes to the rule’s proprietary trading restrictions sometime this summer,” McWilliams said at a Cato Institute event Wednesday.

The rule was mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and was named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. He criticized the ability of FDIC-insured banks to tap cash resources to keep their own trading books.

The regulators have been sympathetic to concerns that the rule is overly complex, but bankers have particularly objected to the proposed introduction of a new accounting standard to determine which trades are subject to the ban.

McWilliams previously said one option is for the regulators is to advance straightforward elements of the 2018 proposal and then consider a broader reproposal of more substantive changes.

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Volcker Rule Regulatory relief Regulatory reform Accounting Jelena McWilliams Joseph Otting FDIC Federal Reserve OCC