According to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, regulators are close to completing the Volcker Rule that will ban proprietary trading at U.S. firms.

"We've made quite a bit of progress," Bernanke told reporters at a press conference following a two-day Federal Open Markets Committee meeting, saying the rule is likely to be released early next year.

The Volcker rule, named for former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, is one of the most conflict-ridden elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank reform law. Dodd-Frank charged five regulators, including the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with crafting the rule.

"The five agencies that must jointly write the Volcker Rule had hoped to issue a final version by the end of the year, but after receiving nearly 18,000 comment letters, the agencies' efforts have stalled. A multibillion-dollar trading loss by JPMorgan Chase & Co. also heightened concerns by lawmakers whether such a rule would have prevented the episode from occurring in the first place," writes American Banker's Donna Borak.

For the full piece see "Regulators Inch Closer to Final 'Volcker Rule'" (may require subscription).