On December 10, 2013, five federal agencies approved the regulation known as the Volker Rule which introduces a variety of guidelines to limit risk-taking by banks with federally insured deposits. The Federal Reserve Board announced that banking entities covered by section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will be required to fully conform their activities and investments by July 21, 2015. The compliance requirements will vary based on the size of the entity and the scope of activities conducted.
The rule prohibits insured depository institutions and any company affiliated with an insured depository institution from engaging in short-term proprietary trading of certain securities, derivatives, and other financial instruments for the firm’s own account, subject to certain exemptions, including market making and risk-mitigating hedging. It also imposes limits on banking entities’ investments in, and other relationships with, hedge funds and private equity funds.