Democrats Support New Change to Volcker Rule

The Volcker rule may be getting tweaked once again.

The banking industry has been pushing to have a group of debt investments omitted from the Volcker rule, saying that they differ from the types of investments that the Volcker rule was designed to regulate. And it seems likely that they may be getting their way as House officials recently signed a letter looking for guidance from financial regulators on how to go about doing so.

Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) and Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.), senior members of the House Financial Services Committee are among the 17 House Democrats who signed the letter, asking regulators to clarify that collateralized loan obligations (CLOs) aren’t necessarily equity investments.

As the Volcker rule is currently written, CLOs can fall under its regulation if it has any of the characteristics of an equity investment. The letter requests that regulators look to exempt CLOs from regulation in some of those cases, though it also points out that there may be instances where regulating CLOs could be required.

Should the Volcker rule not be changed, banks will have to divest their CLOs before the it goes into effect in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.

However, with the CFTC under new, seemingly much more lenient management, it’s unlikely that this will be an issue.