Legislative Activity

Swaps Push Out and Fiduciary Duty Bills Likely To Get A House Vote This Week

Two important bills are expected to be  voted on by the House this week. The first is the commonly known “swaps push out” bill or H.R. 992. The House Financial Services Committee approved the bill in May and the House Agriculture Committee in March. The other bill to be considered is H.R. 2374, approved by the House Financial Services Committee in June. The bill would put restrictions on how and when the Department of Labor and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) can release new “fiduciary duty” rules for brokers and advisers who direct clients on their investments.

Two New Anti-Money Laundering Bills Introduced

Last week, House Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced two separate anti-money laundering bills on the same day. The bills are intended to strengthen U.S. anti-money laundering laws, address loopholes, encourage the flow of information, and provide financial regulators with enhanced civil powers to hold bank executives accountable for misconduct on their watch.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, October 29: The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “Federal Housing Administration: Implications of a $1.7 billion Taxpayer Bailout.” The Honorable Carol J. Galante, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be the sole witness.
  • Tuesday, October 29: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit will hold a hearing titled “Examining Legislative Proposals to Reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).” The subcommittee plans to examine nine pieces of legislation.
  • Tuesday, October 29: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Housing Finance Reform: Essentials of a Functioning Housing Finance System for Consumers.”
  • Wednesday, October 30: The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment will hold a hearing titled “The JOBS Act at a Year and a Half: Assessing Progress and Unmet Opportunities.”
  • Thursday, October 31: The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing titled “Housing Finance Reform: Essential Elements of a Government Guarantee for Mortgage-Backed Securities.”

Regulatory Activity

SEC Reveals Crowdfunding Proposal

Last Wednesday, October 23, the SEC unanimously voted to propose a long-awaited rule that will allow small businesses to raise funds through the sale of stocks over the internet, a practice commonly called “crowdfunding.” The crowdfunding mandate was a provision of the JOBS Act and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have pushed the SEC to move quickly in adopting crowdfunding rules.

Federal Reserve Proposes New Liquidity Rules

Last Thursday, October 24, the Federal Reserve proposed a new rule to strengthen the liquidity positions of large financial institutions. The proposal would for the first time create a standardized minimum liquidity requirement for large and internationally active banking organizations and systemically important, non-bank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). These institutions would be required to hold minimum amounts of high-quality, liquid assets such as central bank reserves and government and corporate debt that can be converted easily and quickly into cash.

This Week’s Meetings:

  • Wednesday, October 30: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold an open meeting to consider enhanced protections for futures fund customers.
  • Thursday, October 31: The FSOC will meet in closed session. While an agenda for the meeting has not been released, it is interesting to note that Prudential has decided to accept its significantly important financial institution (SIFI) designation after fighting it through the appeals process.