The five agencies that jointly issued the final Volcker Rule last December recently added to their existing list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) a new item addressing the attestation requirement applicable to CEOs of larger banking entities. Specifically, the issue addressed is when the initial attestation must be filed.

The Rule requires, among other things, that banking entities implement compliance programs at levels appropriate to their size and the extent and complexity of their trading and covered fund businesses. For each banking entity with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more—and, in the case of a foreign banking organization (FBO), total U.S. assets of $50 billion or more—the Rule requires an annual written attestation by the CEO (or, in the case of an FBO, the senior management officer in charge of U.S. operations) to the relevant agency (e.g., in the case of a national bank or a federal branch of a foreign bank, the OCC). Each banking entity must attest that it “has in place processes to establish, maintain, enforce, review, test and modify the compliance program established under [the Rule] in a manner reasonably designed to achieve compliance with” the statutory Volcker Rule provision (Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act) and the Rule.

Since compliance programs for such entities need not be in place until July 21, 2015, the recent FAQ reflects the agencies’ conclusion that the initial attestation be filed after that date but not later than March 31, 2016. The next attestation will then be within one year of that filing. This undoubtedly will establish an annual pattern of attestations at the end of every March by CEOs of the larger banking entities.

In the case of a banking entity that only becomes subject to the attestation requirement after July 21, 2015, the CEO should file the initial attestation a year after the date of such occurrence.

Ballard Spahr’s Bank Regulation and Supervision practice includes experienced attorneys who regularly assist depository institutions and their holding companies and affiliates with a wide variety of regulatory compliance issues. For more information, please contact Alan S. Kaplinsky at 215.864.8544 or kaplinsky@ballardspahr.com, or Keith R. Fisher at 202.661.2284 or fisherk@ballardspahr.com.


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