On September 8, 2016, the US Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the OCC jointly issued, pursuant to a requirement under Section 620 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a study on the scope of permissible activities and investments engaged in by banking entities, and the associated risks of those activities. The banking entities covered in the study include insured depository institutions and any company that controls an insured depository institution or is treated as a bank holding company.

The report recommends changes to mitigate risks associated with banking activities, including (i) repealing the authority of financial holding companies to engage in merchant banking and commodities activities, (ii) reviewing certain activities to determine whether changes in regulations are needed and (iii) clarifying certain prudential rules and regulations. If enacted, the Federal Reserve Board’s recommendations relating to merchant banking and commodities activities would significantly restrict the permissible activities of FHCs established under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999. The Federal Reserve Board also recommended the repeal of exemptions available to owners of industrial loan companies and grandfathered savings and loans.

The text of the report is available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/bcreg20160908a1.pdf