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July 10, 2018

The 689 Page Proposal to Roll Back the Volcker Rule Must Not Be Rushed and the Public Must Be Provided Sufficient Time to Comment

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Better Markets, Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform, and the Center for American Progress have sent a letter calling for an additional 90 days for the public to comment to the five federal financial regulators who have proposed rolling back the Volcker Rule.

The proposed changes to the Volcker Rule run 689 pages and include 342 enumerated questions, dozens of additional questions on the costs or benefits of aspects of the proposal, and invitations to comment on numerous technical concepts and provisions.  Yet, the financial regulators proposed only allowing the public a mere 60 days to comment and respond to all of that.

The Volcker Rule prevents taxpayer backed banks from gambling with insured deposits, destabilizing the financial system and failing or requiring bailouts.  The public, therefore, has a very significant interest in ensuring any changes to the Volcker Rule are done right, based on robust, independent data, and has sufficient safeguards.

“Given the length, complexity and importance of the proposed changes to the Volcker Rule, the American public must be provided an additional 90 days to provide meaningful input,” said Dennis M. Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets.  “The original Volcker Rule was drafted, debated, and ultimately approved over a span of more than three years.  To now consider changes that would radically alter such an important financial protection in a mere fraction of that time denies the public a fair opportunity to participate in the comment process.”

“With little experience enforcing the Volcker Rule, and offering the public no results from even this short history, regulators should not cut short the time for public input,” said Bart Naylor, financial policy advocate for Congress Watch, a division of Public Citizen.

“Allowing just 60 days for a proposal of this size and complexity systematically disadvantages the public interest in favor of big bank insiders who are intimately familiar with the way the rule limits their trading practices. To create a more level playing field, regulators need to extend the comment period and share additional information with the public,” stated Marcus Stanley, Policy Director for Americans for Financial Reform.

“The Volcker Rule re-write proposes complex changes to the rule and includes hundreds of detailed questions. Unfortunately, regulators only approved a 60-day comment period for the public to evaluate and weigh in on this important proposal. The Volcker Rule is one of the pillars of post-crisis financial reform efforts and regulators must not rush through a proposal that could give Wall Street the green light to re-engage in highly risky trading activities. A significant extension of the comment period is more than appropriate,” said Gregg Gelzinis, research associate for economic policy at the Center for American Progress.

[The full text of the letter can be found here.]


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