Barney Frank calls for simplified Volcker Rule by Labor Day


In a statement, Frank contended that regulators have tried too hard to accommodate all perspectives, and need to refine their focus by Sept. 3.

"The agencies tried to accommodate a variety of views on implementation but the results reflected in the proposed rule are far too complex, and the final rules should be simplified significantly," he said.

Frank added that regulators should make clear to financial institutions what exactly, if anything, they must comply with pertaining to the Volcker Rule when the July deadline hits. Regulators have missed a number of statutory deadlines in Dodd-Frank, and Frank said he tolerated the "slippage" to ensure regulators did their work well.

But it is more complicated with the Volcker Rule, as the law states that the rule shall go into effect on July 21, regardless of the rulemaking process. The end result is an "untenable" position where institutions must follow the rule without knowing what regulators will require, according to Frank.

Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo told lawmakers at a hearing Thursday that regulators are aware that they might miss the deadline, and plan to set out some guidelines for what banks must do pertaining to the rule on that date.

The House lawmaker's call comes the same day that a bipartisan group of senators unveiled legislation that would also ease the Volcker Rule deadline. A group of six members of the Senate Banking Committee has offered a bill that would make clear that financial firms are not required to comply with the Volcker Rule until one year after regulators have finalized their rules.