WASHINGTON Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, is urging the Federal Reserve Board to issue guidance about the transition time for institutions to comply with the new swaps push-out rule.
The rule, which requires institutions to move their riskiest swaps trading out of insured depository institutions, officially goes into effect in July. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency earlier this year supplied guidance to banks under its jurisdiction, saying that it would allow banks up to 24 months to comply with the rule, which is also referred to as Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank law. The Fed should do the same for banks under its auspices, Crapo argued in a May 31 letter addressed to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"The issuance of constructive guidance by the Board will provide certainty to the market," the Idaho Republican wrote. "The July 16, 2013 effective date is quickly approaching and Board guidance will afford institutions clarity with respect to the scope of application and a reasonable period of time to transition to new Section 716 requirements."
Crapo also indicated that he'd be supportive of efforts to amend the Dodd-Frank provision.
"Legislative action would certainly be the best way to provide legal certainty to prevent the potential unintended consequences of the swaps push-out rule to our financial markets," he said in the letter, referencing remarks by Bernanke at a banking panel hearing in February regarding the possible need for a legislative fix.
The House last month passed legislation that would narrowed the list of swaps that would need to be "pushed out" of a depository institution. A version of the bill was also introduced in the Senate in March.