December 27, 2013
Authored by: Robert Klingler
In a late Christmas present (or perhaps it was just delayed in delivery), the federal banking agencies and the SEC (although apparently not the Commodity Future Trading Commission) announced they would be reviewing whether it would be appropriate to exempt CDOs backed by Trust Preferred Securities from the Volcker Rule’s ban on covered funds.
The agencies have stated that they intend to address the matter no later than January 15, 2014, and believe that, consistent with GAAP, any actions taken in January 2014 should be effective in addressing year-end financial statements so long as such actions are taken before the issuance of such financial statements.
In the statement released by the regulators, the agencies emphasize the grandfathering of TRuPS provided by the Dodd-Frank Act for institutions with consolidated assets of less than $15 billion, and suggest that action to revise the Volcker Rule may be appropriate to avoid “consequences that are inconsistent with the relief Congress intended to provide community banking organizations.” Whether this foreshadow only partial relief of the impact of the Volcker Rule on CDOs backed by TRuPs, namely only to those institutions with less than $15 billion in total consolidated assets, remains to be seen.