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SEC Proposes Rolling Back the Volcker Rule

Weeks after President Trump signed the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act , a bill to roll back systemic risk regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is taking aim at reversing another Dodd-Frank rule. In a 3-2 vote on June 5, the SEC issued a proposal to amend the Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker Rule, which limits banks’ proprietary trading and prohibits them from owning hedge funds and private equity funds. The proposal would create new requirements centered on a bank’s trading activities, with an aim to alleviate the burden small- and mid-sized companies face in complying with the Volcker rule. It would also revise the exemptions. Read More.

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President Signs Bill that Reverses Dodd-Frank Banking Reforms

President Trump has signed a bill to roll back systemic risk regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act. Approved on May 22 by the House of Representatives, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (“the Act”) represents the most substantial changes to the Dodd-Frank Act since its enactment. The new legislation is viewed as a partial rollback of the 2010 law. Although heralded in the media as a dramatic step away from regulatory reforms introduced by Dodd-Frank, the changes included in the Act will generally have the greatest impact on small banks. Sen. Mike Crapo praised the legislation as a. Read More.

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Dodd-Frank Executive Compensation Rules Still Delayed

For the last eight years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has been working to finish the Dodd-Frank Act’s executive compensation rules. Based on recent comments by William Hinman, the rules are far from being completed. Speaking on April 26 before the House Financial Services Committee’s Capital Markets subcommittee, the director of the agency’s Division of Corporation Finance said the executive compensation rules would not be finished this fiscal year. Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison pressed Hinman about why the SEC is taking so long to complete the executive compensation rules. During his questioning, Ellison referenced unfinished rules on clawbacks (Release. Read More.

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JOBS Act Exemptions to Expire Soon for Emerging Growth Companies

Businesses that went public under the designation of emerging growth companies shortly after the JOBS Act of 2012 was enacted could soon lose their exemptions from the law. The five-year exemptions included in the JOBS Act, which curtails regulations for young companies that raise investor funds and encourages initial public offerings, are set to expire soon. Once the exemptions expire, hundreds of young companies will be subject to various accounting, disclosure and corporate governance requirements foreign to them. One exemption set to go away relates to Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Section 404(b) requires an external auditor to review. Read More.

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Supreme Court Tightens Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court narrowed the definition of a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fifth and Ninth Circuits had different rulings over the interpretation of the whistleblower protections, but the Supreme Court ultimately decided on a narrow definition. The decision stems from the case of Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, which involved the termination of former Digital Realty Trust vice president Paul Somers after he reported possible violations to management. Somers claimed that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections, which bar companies from retaliating against employees who report misconduct under certain. Read More.

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