PHOENIX The Bank Securities Association has sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, asking it to hold off on enforcing Title II of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act at least until yearend, or to tie compliance to a reasonable period of time after issuance of definitive guidance.
Title II, which is due to take effect on May 12, provides for the functional regulation of many bank securities activities, such as cash sweeps and trust functions, by the SEC.
In a letter to Laura S. Unger, acting chairman of the SEC, Robert M. Kurucza, general counsel for the bank securities group, said the SEC hasnt yet definitively informed banks how some of the most significant of the limited exceptions from broker-dealer registration will be applied.
Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, banks were excepted from the SECs broker-dealer regulation for most securities activities that were considered to be traditional bank activities. Title II will replace the general exception with 11 exceptions from the definition of broker, including trust and custodial activities and cash sweep programs.
Issues remain open about several of the 11 exceptions, and until the specific meanings of the language used in the exceptions is clarified, the title should not be implemented, Mr. Kurucza said.
Smaller community banks with cash sweep programs will be most affected by the Title II implementation, the letter said. For many smaller community banks, the answers to these questions will determine whether it is feasible, from a cost-benefit perspective, to continue offering these products and services at all.
An SEC spokeswoman said that Ms. Unger received the letter, but that the commission would not comment on it at this time.