According to CFTC.gov, five federal agencies have approved an interim rule that will allow banks to keep certain securities, namely collateralized debt obligations, which are backed by trust preferred securities (TruPS CDOs). The temporary rule has been put in effect to lighten the impact of the Volcker rule, which put strict limits on banks’ proprietary trading abilities in an attempt to lower the risk associated with these trades after being linked to exacerbating the financial crisis of 2008.
This new rule will allow banks to retain collateralized debt obligations, as they are considered to be of minimal risk. The agencies involved in passing the vote were the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The qualifications that need to be met in order to retain these collateralized debt obligations are described by cftc.gov as:
- the TruPS CDO was established, and the interest was issued, before May 19, 2010;
- the banking entity reasonably believes that the offering proceeds received by the TruPS CDO were invested primarily in Qualifying TruPS Collateral; and
- the banking entity’s interest in the TruPS CDO was acquired on or before December 10, 2013, the date the agencies issued final rules implementing section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Act.
CFTC.gov also defines collateral for TRuPS CDOs as “any trust preferred security or subordinated debt instrument that was:
- issued prior to May 19, 2010, by a depository institution holding company that as of the end of any reporting period within 12 months immediately preceding the issuance of such trust preferred security or subordinated debt instrument had total consolidated assets of less than $15 billion; or
- issued prior to May 19, 2010, by a mutual holding company.”
The agencies will be accepting comments on the rule for thirty days, following its being added to the federal register.