Federal Reserve Board Extends Comment Period

On February 26, the Federal Reserve Board extended until April 3 the comment period for its proposed rule to implement capital surcharges for the largest, most systemically important U.S. bank holding companies. The proposed rule would establish a methodology to identify whether a firm is a global systemically important banking organization and would also establish the size of a firm’s risk-based capital surcharge. The proposal is designed to further strengthen the capital positions of these institutions.  Release.

CFTC Reopens Comment Periods

On February 24, the CFTC submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice reopening the comment periods for the two Position Limit rulemakings, in anticipation of questions and comments that may arise from the Commission’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee meeting.  Release.

FHFA House Price Index Shows Increases for Fourteen Consecutive Quarters

On February 26, the FHFA House Price Index showed that U.S. house prices rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.  This marked the fourteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.  House prices rose 4.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013 to fourth quarter of 2014.  Release.

 

SEC Chair and European Union Financial Services Commissioner Meet

On February 26, the SEC Chair Mary Jo White hosted a meeting with European Union Financial Services Commissioner Jonathan Hill. Chair White and Commissioner Hill discussed the importance of international cooperation in regulating global financial markets and a variety of other topics of mutual interest, including market structure, asset management, accounting standards and small business capital formation.  They also discussed Commissioner Hill’s proposal for an EU Capital Markets Union.  Release.

Fed Announces Dates of Stress Test Releases

On February 12, the Fed announced that results from the latest supervisory stress tests conducted as part of Dodd-Frank will be released on March 5, and the related results from the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, will be released on March 11.  Results for both exercises will be released at 4:30 p.m.  Release.

 

SEC Proposes New Rules for Security-Based Swap Information Reporting

On February 11, the SEC issued proposed new rules and rule amendments to Regulation SBSR—Reporting and Dissemination of Security-Based Swap Information.  New rules would require platforms to report to a registered security-based swap data repository (“registered SDR”) a security-based swap executed on such platform, would require a registered clearing agency to report to a registered SDR any security-based swap to which it is a counterparty, and certain other changes. Comments must be received within 45 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register.  Proposed Rule.

 

SEC Proposes Rules for Disclosure of Hedging Policies

On February 9, the SEC issued proposed rules that are intended to enhance disclosure of company hedging policies for directors and employees, as mandated by Dodd-Frank. The proposal would require disclosure about whether directors, officers and other employees are permitted to hedge or offset any decrease in the market value of equity securities held, directly or indirectly, by employees or directors. The proposed rules would require disclosure in proxy and information statements for the election of directors and apply to companies subject to the federal proxy rules, including smaller reporting companies, emerging growth companies, business development companies, and registered closed-end investment companies with shares listed and registered on a national securities exchange.  ReleaseProposed Rule.

Rating Agency Developments

On February 6, Moody’s restated its approach to rating trade receivables-backed transactionsApproach.

On February 5, S&P restated its criteria for rating global non-diversified auto dealer floorplan ABSCriteria.

On February 4, DBRS requested comment for its methodology for rating CLOs and CDOs of large corporate creditProposal.

On February 3, S&P requested comment for its global rating methodology for rating CMBS. Proposal.

On February 2, DBRS released its methodology for rating U.S. wholesale securitizationsMethodology.

On January 29, Fitch released its global approach to developing criteria and models and assigning ratingsApproach.

On January 29, Fitch released an addendum to its rating criteria for rating covered bonds with respect to liquidity gap risks in public sectorCriteria.

On January 28, Kroll released its global methodology for rating banks and bank holding companiesMethodology.