Frank: Tough version of 'Volcker rule' expected in Wall Street bill

The final Wall Street overhaul bill will likely include a tough version of a new rule aimed at ending proprietary trading at big banks, a key lawmaker said Thursday.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said after the opening day of conference negotiations that the final bill would have a tougher version than what passed the House in December. The proprietary trading ban, known as the "Volcker rule," is named after Paul Volcker, the Obama administration adviser who first proposed it.

Frank said there is support for a tougher version that was backed strongly by Democratic Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) but that did not come up for a vote in the Senate. That version would mandate clearer limits on proprietary trading and bank sponsorship of alternative investment funds.

"The general direction that Sens. Merkley and Levin were moving in is the direction a lot of people are supportive of," Frank told reporters on Thursday. "The final version, we'll see. It will be a tougher version than the House."