Written by: Joseph T. Lynyak, III and Anthony H. Schouten
More than three years following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, and intense inter-agency negotiations, the federal financial regulatory agencies collectively adopted the final version of the “Volcker Rule,” or “Rule”—which imposes new and potentially severe limitations on domestic and foreign banking entities’ activities in regard to proprietary trading and investments in “covered funds.” The 72-page final Rule is accompanied by over 800 pages of interpretative guidance, to address more than 1,200 questions that the federal agencies asked commenters to address.
This Alert provides an overview of the principal elements of the Rule and identifies several significant concerns that have already been raised by industry participants. Importantly, we provide our thoughts regarding the process by which banking entities might analyze their current business models and transactional structures, with the goal of avoiding an interruption in deal flow and/or business models by identifying possible coverage by the Rule, as well as adopting modifications to comply with the Rule and prevent or minimize adverse business consequences.
Additional client communications will explore in detail categories of activities and transactions impacted by the Rule, as well as interpretative guidance issued by the federal banking agencies.
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