Rating Agency Developments

On April 18, 2016, Fitch issued a report entitled: Fitch Updates U.S. Tax-Supported Rating Criteria. Release.

On April 15, 2016, DBRS issued a report entitled: DBRS Criteria: Commercial Paper Liquidity Support for Non-Bank Financial Issuers. Report.

On April 14, 2016, Fitch issued a report entitled: Fitch Publishes Criteria Exposure Draft for Counterparty Risk in Structured Finance and CVBs. Release.

SEC Adopts Business Conduct Standards for Security-Based Swap Dealers and Major Security-Based Swap Participants

On April 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules modifying regulations “for security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants (security-based swap entities).”  The final rules address conduct and compliance officer issues. Release.

Rating Agency Developments

On April 13, Moody’s published its approach to rating obligations with variable promises, where the source of variation is related to non-standard or non-credit-related reference factors. Report.

On April 7, Fitch published its criteria for rating tender option bonds. Report.

On April 7, Fitch published its criteria for rating Mexican residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Report.

On April 7, DBRS published its criteria for rating companies in the television broadcasting industry. Report.

On April 7, DBRS published its criteria for rating companies in the radio broadcasting industry. Report.

On April 7, DBRS published its criteria for rating companies in the printing industry. Report.

On April 7, DBRS published its criteria for rating companies in the publishing industry. Report.

No-Action Relief Regarding Masking Information Reportable under the OCR Final Rule

On April 8, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter regarding the masking of information reportable under the ownership and control final rule (the “OCR Final Rule”).  The no-action letter permits reporting parties with reporting obligations on OCR Forms 102A and 102B to mask certain identifying information, subject to conditions, until the earlier of: (i) a reporting party no longer holding the requisite reasonable belief regarding the privacy law consequences of reporting; and (ii) March 1, 2017. Release.

No-Action Letter Issued Regarding the OCR Final Rule

On April 8, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter regarding the ownership and control final rule (the “OCR Final Rule”).  The OCR Final Rule requires the electronic submission of trader identification and market participant data on new and updated forms.  The no-action letter extends certain relief previously provided and is intended to provide improvements in the reliability and consistency of the OCR data submitted to the CFTC. Release.

Rating Agency Developments

On April 6, 2016, DBRS published its methodology for rating European structured finance transactions.

On April 6, 2016, DBRS published its methodology for ratings in the forest products industry. Report.

On April 6, 2016, DBRS published its methodology for ratings in the engineering and construction industry. Report.

On April 6, 2016, DBRS published its methodology for ratings in the industrial products industry. Report.

On April 5, 2016, Fitch updated its recovery ratings and notching criteria for non-financial corporate issuers. Release.

On April 5, 2016, Fitch published an updated report on rating criteria for letter of credit supported bonds and commercial paper. Report.

On April 5, 2016, Fitch published surveillance criteria for trust preferred CDOs. Report.

On April 1, 2016, Fitch updated its EMEA RMBS rating criteria. Release.

On March 31, 2016, S&P published its methodology and assumptions for rating North American single-tenant real estate triple-net lease-backed securitizationsReport.

On March 31, 2016, Fitch updated its global criteria for rating wind power projects. Release.

The FDIC Rescinds De Novo Time Period Extension

On April 6, 2016, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) rescinded Financial Institution Letter (FIL) 50-2009, Enhanced Supervisory Procedures for Newly Insured FDIC-Supervised Depository Institutions.  The Financial Institution Letter extended the de novo period from three to seven years for newly organized, state nonmember institutions for examinations, capital maintenance and other requirements.  Release.

CFTC Approves Guidance Relating to Appropriate Treatment of Electric Power and Natural Gas Contracts

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) approved guidance relating to the appropriate treatment of certain electric power and natural gas contracts.  The guidance provides that certain capacity contracts in electric power markets and certain natural gas contracts should not be considered “swaps” under the Commodity Exchange Act.  Release.

Treasury Issues Temporary Regulations to Address Inversion Problems

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Treasury issued temporary regulations to make it increasingly difficult for companies to invert, i.e., to engage in a transaction in which a U.S.-parented multinational group acquires a small foreign company in order to change its tax residence to reduce or avoid paying U.S. taxes.  Release.