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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

House to Take Up TRIA Renewal, Reg Relief Bills This Week

The House will vote as early as today on renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which expired at the end of 2014, as well as a bill that includes several ABA-support regulatory relief measures. Both bills will be brought up under a parliamentary procedure that requires substantial bipartisan support and are thus expected to pass.

The TRIA bill is identical to the one passed overwhelmingly by the House in December. It would extend TRIA for six years while increasing the amount the private sector would be required to cover after a terrorist attack. TRIA renewal has been a longstanding priority for ABA and its American Bankers Insurance Association and ABA Securities Association subsidiaries.

The bill includes an ABIA-backed provision establishing an independent National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, known as NARAB II, allowing agents and brokers to sell or broker insurance in any state based on a home-state license. It also incorporates two other ABA-supported provisions, one requiring that at least one Federal Reserve Board member have experience with community banking and another clarifying that end users of derivatives are exempt from posting margin for uncleared swaps.

The other bill is expected to contain several ABA-advocated measures. A draft version included a legislative fix for the SEC registration threshold disparity between bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies and an exemption from Volcker Rule prohibitions for collateralized loan obligations issued prior to Jan. 31, 2014, that clarifies the definition of CLO ownership in a way that would allow more banks to retain CLOs.

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