SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Statement of Commissioner Dan M. Berkovitz on the Proposed Revisions to the Volcker Rule Regulations

December 21, 2018

I am voting yes on proposed revisions to the Volcker Rule regulations (the Proposal) that would implement sections 203 and 204 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (EGRRCPA).  Today’s action would codify changes made by Congress regarding which banks are subject to the Volcker Rule. 

There have been assertions that EGRRCPA exempts from the Volcker Rule banks that have either: (i) $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets or (ii) trading assets and liabilities that are 5 percent or less of total consolidated assets.  There are some very large banks on a total consolidated assets basis that would meet the second prong and thereby be excluded from the Volcker requirements under this interpretation. 

In my view, such a reading of EGRRCPA conflicts with Congressional intent.  Congress did not intend to exempt very large banks from the Volcker Rule.  As stated in the summary of EGRRCPA, section 203 amends the law “to exempt from the ‘Volcker Rule’ banks with: (1) total assets valued at less than $10 billion, and (2) trading assets and liabilities comprising not more than 5% of total assets.”[1]  Accordingly, the Proposal codifies the intent of Congress, thereby resolving any perceived imprecision in the language of section 203 of EGRRCPA.[2]

 

[1] Summary: S.2155, Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 115-174 (2018), https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2155 (summarizing section 203) (emphasis added).

[2] See Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Nat’l Res. Def. Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842–43 (1984).