April 7, 2017

Editor's Note: The next edition of Washington Weekly will be published on April 21, 2017.

An inside look at SIFMA's legislative and regulatory priorities as well as current developments in Washington, D.C.

SIFMA NEWS

DOL 60-Day Delay of the Fiduciary Rule

SIFMA welcomed the Department of Labor’s 60-day delay of the fiduciary rule. “The implementation of the delay will avoid customer confusion and market disruption, and comply with the President's request that the Department undertake a wholesale review of the rule’s consequential impacts on investors,” said Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., SIFMA president and CEO. “However, we are concerned that the delay rule contains convoluted extraneous conditions that are not only based on imperfect data but contradicts the intent of the Presidential memorandum of February 3rd. The memorandum directs a review of the entire rule and its impact, not part. We trust the Department will undertake a sufficiently substantive review as requested by the President to ensure investors are not unduly harmed.”

Press Release

DOL Fiduciary Standard Resource Center

Calling All Volunteers: SIFMA Foundation is Looking for InvestWrite Judges
More than 5,000 industry volunteers served as judges for last year’s InvestWrite program, a national essay competition based on the acclaimed Stock Market Game. SIFMA and the SIFMA Foundation encourage you and your firms to get involved with this year’s program. Take a small step, judging takes less than two hours and is completely virtual, to make a big impact in a child’s life by supporting this financial capability program. Registration is now open; sign up today!

Hearing Summaries

Senate Banking Subcommittee Discusses the Current State of Retirement – On April 5, the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy held a hearing to examine the current state of retirement. In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) highlighted the number of Americans that are inadequately saving and making enough to “just get by.” He shockingly referenced that, “the typical American aged 55 to 62, only has $14,500 in savings,” while Social Security “sinks.” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) questioned the future of labor and whether a retirement plan can be designed around the changing workplace. Former Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) acknowledged the current “technological revolution,” and stated that it presents an opportunity to change the way retirement is viewed. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C) asked if the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule aids or hurts individuals who have a limited capacity to contribute to plans. Professor Mead stated that one of the challenges with the current system is that individuals have scattered accounts, low balances, and the cost of the fiduciary rule would make it difficult to utilize and grow those accounts. Read more

House Financial Subcommittee Examines the Federal Financial Regulatory System On April 6, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing titled “Examination of the Federal Financial Regulatory System and Opportunities for Reform.” Rep. Scott asked if merging the SEC and CFTC would bring more confusion and less order to the financial system. Michel replied that it would not cause any additional confusion than there already is, adding that an artificial distinction was made in Title VII of Dodd Frank about financial instruments. He continued that whether trading futures, derivatives, indexes, or stocks, some sort of financial asset is being traded in the market and that “these things are very similar.” Read more

House Financial Services Committee Hosts Hearing on Federal Reserve Governance – On April 4, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade held a hearing called “Examining the Federal Reserve’s Mandate and Governance Structure.” Numerous Republicans on the subcommittee expressed support for governance changes at the Federal Reserve. Several witnesses discussed the impact of broadening the Fed’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) to allow more voting by Reserve Bank presidents, and deplored what they called a “concentration” of power within the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Republicans criticized the size of the Fed’s balance sheet, and asked about the impact of Fed asset purchases on the economy. While all witnesses agreed that asset purchases helped stabilize the economy from 2008-2009, Calomiris and Levy argued the impact of quantitative easing (QE) since then has been mixed at best, and primarily served to support prices of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Read more

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Legislative & Regulatory ActiVITY

March 31

The Federal Reserve released its Semiannual Report on Banking Applications Activity which provides aggregate information on applications filed by banking organizations and reviewed by the Federal Reserve in the second half of 2016.

The Federal Reserve released a Report to the Congress on the Activities of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, pursuant to Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The SEC published in the Federal Register a Final Rule on Adoption of Updated EDGAR Filer Manual. The Final Rule was effective March 31, 2017.

The SEC released a Final Rule on Inflation Adjustments and Other Technical Amendments under Titles I and III of the JOBS Act. The Final Rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

April 3

Federal Reserve Economists Canlin Li, Andrew Meldrum and Marius Rodriguez published a FEDS Notes article entitled "Robustness of Long-Maturity Term Premium Estimates."

The Federal Reserve Office of the Inspector General released an Evaluation Report entitled "The Board Can Improve the Effectiveness of Continuous Monitoring as a Supervisory Tool."

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President and CEO Patrick T. Harker delivered a speech entitled "Fintech: Revolution or Evolution?" at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President and CEO Patrick T. Harker delivered a speech entitled "Fintech: Revolution or Evolution?" at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority released a Trade Reporting Notice on Updates to the Transparency Services FINRA Participant Agreement.

April 4

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a CEO Town Hall to discuss the economy and plans for financial regulatory reform.

Federal Reserve Governor Daniel K. Tarullo delivered a speech entitled "Departing Thoughts" at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

The SEC published in the Federal Register a Notice of Filing of an MSRB Proposed Rule Change to Rule G-3, on Professional Qualification Requirements, and Rule G-8, on Books and Records, to Establish Continuing Education Requirements for Municipal Advisors and Accompanying Recordkeeping Requirements. Comments are due by April 25, 2017.

April 5

The White House held a Press Briefing on the Congressional Review Act.

Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Mark R. Warner (D-VA) reintroduced S.3404, which would amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to require the appropriate Federal banking agencies to treat certain municipal obligations as level 2B liquid assets.

CFTC Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen delivered a speech entitled "What Future for Global Regulation of Financial Markets?" at the Eurofi High Level Seminar 2017 in Malta.

The GAO released a Report on Conflict Minerals: Insights from Company Disclosures and Agency Actions.

The SEC released a Notice of Filing of a FINRA Proposed Rule Change to Adopt Consolidated FINRA Registration Rules, Restructure the Representative-Level Qualification Examination Program and Amend the Continuing Education Requirements. Comments are due 21 days after publication in the Federal Register.

April 6

The Department of the Treasury and the European Commission issued a Joint Statement on the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum held on March 28–29, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

The Federal Reserve Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs relea
sed a Finance and Economics Discussion Paper entitled "The Effect of Central Bank Liquidity Injections on Bank Credit Supply."

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INTRODUCED LEGISLATION

House of Representatives
H.R. 1964To preserve competition among mortgage lenders, provide relief from unnecessary regulatory requirements on responsible community mortgage lenders.

Introduced: 4/5/2017

Sponsor: Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas)

Action: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

H.R. 1962To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to protect older, longer service and grandfathered participants in defined benefit plans.

Introduced: 4/5/2017

Sponsor: Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio)

Action: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

H.R. 1948To raise the consolidated assets threshold under the small bank holding company policy statement, and for other purposes.

Introduced: 4/5/2017

Sponsor: Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah)

Action: Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

Senate

S. 828 – A bill to amend the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to require the appropriate Federal banking agencies to treat certain municipal obligations as level 2B liquid assets, and for other purposes.

Introduced: 4/5/2017

Sponsor: Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

Action: Referred to the Senate Banking Committee Committee.

S. 805 – A bill to impose a tax on certain trading transactions to invest in our families and communities, improve our infrastructure and our environment, strengthen our financial security, expand opportunity and reduce market volatility.

Introduced: 4/3/2017

Sponsor: Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Action: Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

in case you missed it

White House

President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Heath P. Tarbert for the position of Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department for International Markets and Development.

Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond issued a statement on Jeffrey Lacker’s resignation as President and CEO and announced that First Vice President Mark Mullinix is serving as the Acting President.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The SEC issued a press release announcing that Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Unit Kara Novaco Brockmeyer will leave the agency later this month.

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A Look Ahead

House 2017 Calendar
Senate 2017 Calendar

House and Senate not in Session

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm - American Enterprise Institute

Conversation

“Financial crisis, corporate governance, and bank capital: A discussion with Sanjai Bhagat”

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EVENTS

Securitization Spotlight Session - FINRA Rule 4210 Implementation
April 19, 2017- SIFMA Conference Center, New York, NY

Canada-US Securities Summit 2017
April 20, 2017 - SIFMA Conference Center, New York, NY


Equity Market Structure Conference 2017
April 26, 2017 - Convene Conference Center, New York, NY

Fixed Income Market Structure Seminar 2017
April 27, 2017 - SIFMA Conference Center, New York, NY

Senior Investor Protection Regional Workshop 2017
May 02, 2017 -Janney Montgomery Scott Conference, Philadelphia, PA

2017 Operations Conference and Exhibition
May 8-11, 2017 - Boca Raton, Florida

SIFMA FinTech Conference
June 5-6, 2017 - SIFMA Conference Center, New York, NY

Prudential Regulation Conference 2017
June 13, 2017 -Covington, One CityCenter, Washington, DC

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INTERNATIONAL UPDATE

Please see:GFMA Weekly Update

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