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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABA Urges Panel to Approve Muni Adviser Bill

ABA yesterday urged the House Financial Services Committee to approve the version of Rep. Robert Dold’s (R-Ill.) municipal advisers bill (H.R. 2827) that the Capital Markets Subcommittee passed on Aug. 1.

The legislation would clarify what constitutes a municipal adviser and would exempt banks from the SEC’s proposed rule implementing the Dodd-Frank Act’s Section 975. The committee is slated to consider H.R. 2827 today.

In a memo James Ballentine, ABA EVP for congressional relations said,
The SEC’s proposal would require registration and reporting not only by banks, but also by individual bank employees giving ‘advice’ -- a term which is not defined -- with enforcement and examination handled by the SEC instead of by bank regulators.
Ballentine emphasized that the required registration would impose a new and different layer of regulation and examination on banks for no meaningful public purpose. He noted that Capital Markets Subcommittee members said during a recent hearing on the issue that this was not Congress’ intent when it approved Section 975.
ABA strongly believes a complete exemption is required [for commercial banks and savings and loan associations] because these institutions provide such a broad array of traditional banking products and services to municipalities that any attempt to categorize them would necessarily be incomplete.
Read the memo.

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