On December 10, 2013, the U.S. federal banking agencies,1 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC,” and, together with the federal banking agencies and the SEC, the “Agencies”) jointly adopted regulations (the “Final Regulations”) to implement Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act, commonly known as the Volcker Rule.2 The Final Regulations were adopted more than two years after proposed regulations to implement the Volcker Rule (the “Proposed Regulations”) were first published.3
The Volcker Rule prohibits any “banking entity,” as defined in the Final Regulations, from (i) engaging in proprietary trading and (ii) acquiring and retaining an ownership interest in, sponsoring or having certain relationships with hedge funds, private equity funds and certain other private funds (“covered funds”), subject to certain exemptions.
In this Alert, we discuss the Volcker Rule’s impact on non-U.S. organizations that are subject to the Volcker Rule because the non-U.S. organization or an affiliate conducts banking operations in the United States, such as through a U.S. bank branch or a U.S. bank subsidiary.4
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1 The U.S. federal banking agencies are the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “FRB”), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”).
2 The Final Regulations and accompanying statements, fact sheets, and related documents can be found on the websites of the Agencies. For example, they are available on the FRB’s website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/
3 For a summary of the Proposed Regulations, see Bingham McCutchen LLP Legal Alert: Proposed Volcker Rule Regulations: A Summary (Oct. 18, 2011). The Proposed Regulations can be found in the Federal Register at 76 FR 68846 (Nov. 7, 2011) and on the FRB’s website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/
4 For a summary of some of the key highlights of the Final Regulations, see Bingham McCutchen LLP Legal Alert: Regulators Adopt Final Volcker Rule Regulations (Dec. 11, 2013). For detailed summaries of the Final Regulations’ requirements as applied to all banking entities (including U.S. and non-U.S. banking entities), see the following Bingham McCutchen LLP Legal Alerts: Final Volcker Rule Regulations: Restrictions on Covered Fund Activities and Investments (Jan. 6, 2014); Final Volcker Rule Regulations: Restrictions on Proprietary Trading (Jan, 9, 2014); and Final Volcker Rule Regulations: Securitizations and Other Structured Transactions (Updated Jan. 16, 2014).
This article was originally published by Bingham McCutchen LLP.