Federal Reserve Board Guidance on the M&A Competitive Review Process

On October 9th, the Federal Reserve Board published answers to frequently asked questions regarding the competitive review process for bank acquisitions, mergers, and other transactions. The FAQs provide answers to questions often raised by banking organizations considering filing applications and explain changes to the application process mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. Developed jointly with the Department of Justice, the FAQs also address the factors considered by both agencies in conducting competitive analysis for bank applications. Federal Reserve Board Press Release.

OCC Publishes Second Quarter Trading and Derivatives Report

On October 9th, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) published its Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities. Among other things, the report notes U.S. commercial banks and savings associations reported trading revenue of $6.4 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up $0.2 billion from $6.2 billion in the first quarter. Trading revenue in the second quarter was $0.7 billion lower than the $7.1 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2013. Credit exposures from derivatives also increased during the second quarter. The notional amount of derivatives held by insured U.S. commercial banks increased $6.1 trillion from the first quarter to $237 trillion. OCC Press Release.

New York Fed Official Discusses Reverse Repo Operations

On October 7th, Simon Potter, Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, discussed the use of overnight reverse repurchase agreements while the Federal Reserve normalizes interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee’s recent test of aggregate caps as well as individual caps on overnight reverse repos proceeded smoothly and there was no evidence of market disruption from unfilled bids during the auction. Potter Remarks. See also Reuters (describing auction process and noting the possibility of multiple auctions).

OCC Bulletin on Proposed Margin and Capital Requirements for Swap Entities

On October 7th, the OCC issued a Bulletin on the proposed rule it issued jointly with, among others, the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and the Federal Housing Finance Agency which would establish minimum margin requirements for registered swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants subject to agency supervision. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2014 and comments should be submitted on or before November 24, 2014.

FDIC and CFPB Launch Spanish-Language Consumer Resource Tool

On October 7th, the FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) launched a Spanish-language version of Money Smart for Older Adults. The free financial resource tool is designed to help aid older adults (age 62 and older) and their caregivers prevent, identify and respond to elder financial exploitation. FDIC Press Release.