Legislative Activity

Senate Banking Committee in Talks on Compromise Reform Package

After months of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats the release of Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) financial services reform legislation – S. 1484, the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015 – there appears to be an effort by moderate Democrats on Committee move forward with a compromise package.  Among items likely being discussed are ways to provide relief to community and regional banks, such as adjusting stress testing and Risk Management Committee rules, as well as adjusting the threshold for designation as a systemically important financial institution (SIFI). Though the road ahead for such legislation remains uncertain, various Committee members are working to refine legislative language in hopes of releasing a bill in short order.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Tuesday, November 17: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade will hold a hearing titled “Dodd-Frank Five Years Later: What Have We Learned From Conflict Minerals Reporting?”
  • Wednesday, November 18: The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing titled “Examining the SEC’s Agenda, Operations, and FY 2017 Budget Request.”
  • Thursday, November 19: The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of the Financial Stability Oversight Council: Due Process and Transparency in Non-Bank SIFI Designations.”

Regulatory Activity

SEC to Hold Open Meeting, Forum on Small Business Capital Formation

On Wednesday, November 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will hold an open meeting to consider whether to propose amendments to Rule 3a1-1 and Regulation ATS and new Form ATS-N under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 related to certain alternative trading systems.

Additionally, on Thursday, November 19, the SEC will host the Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation.  The forum will include remarks by SEC Commissioners, as well as panel discussions focused on exempt and registered offerings occurring after the passage of the JOBS Act.

DOL Announces Delay of Fiduciary Rule

Despite earlier indications that the agency would finalize its Fiduciary Rule in the first half of 2016, Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith recently announced that the Department of Labor (DOL) is now not expected to issue the final rule until “late” next year, which she indicated was a result of the significant amount of comments they received and the agency’s intention to carefully consider all comments in finalizing the rule.

Relatedly, SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White continues to be vague on the timing of the SEC’s rule: “The staff is and has been working very hard on recommendations to present to the commission on that rule as well as the third-party compliance exam, and so we will move it forward as expeditiously as we can.” Chair White will likely discuss the status of the rule, among other topics, in testifying before the House Financial Services Committee this week.