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Fed gives banks 2 more years to ensure holdings of risky securities fit Volcker Rule

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve is giving U.S. banks two more years to ensure their holdings of certain complex and risky securities don't put them afoul of the new Volcker Rule. The Fed's move announced Monday didn't give banks an outright exemption for the securities from the Volcker Rule's ban on high-risk investments. Wall Street banks had sought an exemption and the leading Wall Street lobbying group expressed disappointment with the Fed's move.

Republican's bill seeks to shine more light on U.S. risk council

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican member of Congress said on Thursday he was denied access to a closed-door meeting of a new U.S. regulatory body that polices market risks, and introduced legislation that he contends will make the group more transparent. The bill, by New Jersey Representative Scott Garrett, comes just a day after a top U.S. securities regulator raised similar concerns about the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

Bank of England readies tools to rein in risky mortgage lending

By Huw Jones and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England urged banks on Thursday to consider the risk of future spikes in interest rates when they approve mortgages, and prepared tools to rein back potentially dangerous lending. British house prices have risen by around 10 percent over the past year, and the central bank said mortgages were higher as a share of home-buyers' income than at any point since 2005, although other indicators remained weaker than average.

U.S. regulator estimates Volcker rule's cost for banks

By Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. bank regulator on Thursday said the Volcker rule could cost the industry a one-time annual charge of up to $4.3 billion, the first cost estimate by a regulator for the ban on banks betting on markets with their own money. The rule, which takes its name from former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, puts a stop to so-called proprietary trading by banks. It also limits their ability to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds.

BoE's Cunliffe says big banks are still too big to fail

By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The world's biggest banks still could not be dismantled safely, more than five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Bank of England's deputy governor for financial stability said on Monday. International standard setters have made progress in reforming banking rules since Lehman went under in September 2008, Jon Cunliffe, the deputy governor, told a Chatham House financial conference. But the core task of ending too-big-to-fail banks remains, he said.

U.S. Senate confirms Wall Street critic as Treasury No. 2

By Richard Cowan and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to be the No. 2 official at the Treasury Department, backing a critic of Wall Street to help coordinate an overhaul of financial regulations. The Senate approved the nomination by voice vote.

SEC plans tougher oversight of large asset managers

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is developing a plan to step up its scrutiny of the country's largest and riskiest asset managers, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said Friday. The extra focus on the sector comes as the new U.S. risk council is studying whether large asset managers such as Blackrock and Fidelity could pose systemic risks to the marketplace if they were to fail.

Federal Reserve toughens regulations for largest foreign banks operating in US

WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve will require the largest foreign banks operating in the United States to hold higher levels of capital reserves to protect against potential loan losses. The stricter regulations the Fed adopted Tuesday are intended to prevent the types of threats that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. The requirements are similar to those already adopted for big U.S. banks.

Critics claim Volcker rule skirts cost-benefit laws

By Sarah N. Lynch and Emily Stephenson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opponents of the Volcker rule, which bans U.S. banks from proprietary trading, are exploring whether regulators violated two obscure laws that require them to study the costs to business, a move that could lead to a possible legal challenge. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says bank regulators appear to have failed to meet their obligation to fully study the Volcker rule's cost to the financial industry and the economy.

Berkshire faces U.S. scrutiny on systemic risk: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - The U.S. risk council is looking to determine whether Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc <BRKa.N> could be systemically important, a tag that would subject it to stricter regulatory oversight, Bloomberg reported, citing two people familiar with the matter. The U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) study of Berkshire may not mean the panel is inclined to designate the Omaha, Nebraska-based company, Bloomberg said. (http://link.reuters.com/guh36v)
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