Dec 11 - The American Bankers Association has released the following statement by President and CEO Frank Keating on the final Volcker Rule:
“We appreciate regulators’ earnest attempts to develop workable regulations for a rule that’s ultimately unworkable in the U.S. marketplace. Unfortunately, the Volcker Rule will still make it too hard in too many cases for bankers to provide services that many bank customers rely upon every day, posing no risk to the financial system.
“The exceptionally elusive task of defining, disentangling and dissecting permissible from prohibited activities surely posed a monumental challenge for regulators, but that challenge will be revisited tenfold upon bank customers and on the bankers who must comply with this enormous, highly complex and burdensome rule.
“As they await future regulatory guidance, many bankers will struggle to understand complex provisions that have no application to their business model and are open to conflicting interpretations, particularly given the number of regulatory agencies involved. We appreciate the important steps taken by the regulators to reduce the compliance burden on community banks that pose no systemic risk to the U.S. economy. The Volcker Rule was intended to reduce systemic risk, not make it harder for banks as they go about serving their customers.
“We trust the regulatory agencies will work together to expend similar effort in helping banks and customers who are affected, and will be willing to adjust the rule as experience proves it is necessary. In the end, customers, communities and the broader economy need a rule that is practical and minimizes the harm that comes with banks being forced to exit safe markets. Customers risk facing decreased liquidity and inferior product pricing that will drive them into the arms of unregulated entities and our international competitors. We will continue to work through the many details of this rule that can have a profound impact on banks and their customers.”