Volcker Rule Set for Dec. 10 Approval by U.S. Regulators

U.S. regulators will meet on Dec. 10 to adopt the final version of the Volcker rule banning banks from making speculative bets with their own money, the agencies said in statements today.

The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Commodity Futures Trading Commission will act on that date, according to notices from the regulators. The remaining agency that needs to approve the rule -- the Securities and Exchange Commission -- will probably act at about the same time as the others, said SEC Chairman Mary Jo White.

“If one or more of the other regulators have set Dec. 10, I would expect us to act on or about that date as part of that coordination,” she told reporters today after a speech on corporate governance.

The agencies’ approval would be the final stage in the process of adopting the Volcker rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 global credit crisis. The final version is also expected to extend the rule’s compliance dates, which was sought by Wall Street banks and trade groups.

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler raised objections that a recent draft of the rule wasn’t strong enough, according to three people familiar with the negotiations. In its notice today, the CFTC set its Dec. 10 meeting for 9:30 a.m. -- 30 minutes earlier than the other agencies.

Insured Deposits

The rule named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who championed it as an adviser to President Barack Obama, is aimed at preventing banks with insured deposits and access to discount borrowing from engaging in speculative trading that could threaten their stability.

Banks currently have until July 21 to implement the rule, even though regulators are behind the schedule outlined by Dodd-Frank. Industry representatives have been assured by regulators that that deadline will probably be extended, according to three people involved in the discussions.

In a letter sent to regulators last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said the rule should be re-proposed because “many fundamental issues” have emerged since the comment period closed. Specifically, the chamber said there had been reports of changes to the proposal’s hedging provision after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $6.2 billion trading loss.

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