Yesterday the Fed published a proposed guidance document for its expectations for board of directors of banks. The release only applies to the boards of banks with over $50 billion in consolidated assets, but the intent of the Fed is to ease up on directors at all banks. The proposal was issued after an extensive review of the activities of bank boards and reflects independent directors’ dissatisfaction with the burdens that the regulators have been placing on bank directors.
On December 28, 2016, the OCC posted its final rule to prohibit national banks from dealing in or investing in industrial or commercial metals. This rule was proposed by the OCC in September 2016, and was approved in substantially the same form as the proposal.
Action Required Under the Volcker Rule by January 22, 2017.
Late Monday afternoon, the Fed announced that banks may seek an extension of time (up to five years) to hold and presumably arrange to sell their investments in or holdings of so-called “illiquid funds” that were made impermissible under the Volcker Rule. Under the most recent relief before Monday, these investments had to be “conformed” or sold by July 21, 2017. Many banks and banking interest groups had complained to the Fed that a variety of hedge funds and private equity funds were sold and operated to invest in “illiquid” assets and that forced sales of such investments before maturity would be a financial burden.