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OCC seeks public comment on changes to Volcker rule

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Wednesday announced it is seeking public comment on possible changes to the Volcker rule.

The OCC is the first federal agency to seek comment on changes to the rule, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. It bans banks and their affiliates from proprietary trading as well as from owning or sponsoring a hedge fund or private equity fund.

The agency said in a news release it wants the public to suggest if the rule should be revised, clarified or maintained as is, with an eye on "decreasing the compliance burden on banking entities and fostering economic growth."

The Treasury Department in a report released June 13 recommended "substantial amendment" to the Volcker rule, including not subjecting banks with less than $10 billion in assets to it, and removing proprietary trading restrictions on larger banks, which would be allowed to "more easily hedge their risks and conduct market-making activities."

OCC is one of five federal financial regulators that enforce the Volcker rule. The others are the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. None of the other agencies has issued a call for comment on the rule.

Comments will be accepted by the OCC for 45 days after the request is posted on the Federal Register, expected in the next few days.