Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - December 2, 2011


In this issue;

- ISS Publishes Updates to Proxy Voting Policies

- CFTC Request for Public Comment Regarding ICE Clear Credit Portfolio Margining Petition

- SEC Adopts Rule to Require Risk Management Controls for Brokers or Dealers with Market Access

- FINRA and the SEC Issue Joint Guidance on Effective Policies and Procedures for Broker-Dealer Branch Inspections

- Seventh Circuit Vacates Class Certification Based on Counsel Misconduct

- Civil RICO Case Fails In Absence of Specific Fraud Allegations

- DOL Warns on Indemnification of Brokers for IRA Trading Losses

- Frank to Retire; Waters is Frontrunner for Chair

- Five Major Financial Trade Groups Ask for Extension of Volcker Rule Comment Deadline

- Office of Comptroller of the Currency Issues Proposed Guidance for Purchase of Investment Securities by Banks and Thrifts

- FDIC, Treasury Propose Maximum Obligation Limitation Rules for FDIC Receiverships Involving Covered Financial Companies

- FMLC Publishes Comments on HM Treasury Proposals for New UK Regulatory Structure

An excerpt from "Office of Comptroller of the Currency Issues Proposed Guidance for Purchase of Investment Securities by Banks and Thrifts"

On November 29, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) proposed guidance to assist national banks and Federal savings associations in meeting due diligence requirements in assessing credit risk for portfolio investments. Comments must be received by December 29. Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act) requires each Federal agency, within one year of enactment, to review: (i) any regulations that require the use of an assessment of the creditworthiness of a security or money market instrument, and (ii) any references to or requirements in those regulations regarding credit ratings. Section 939A then requires the Federal agencies to modify the regulations identified during the review to substitute any references to or requirements of reliance on credit ratings with such standards of creditworthiness that each agency determines to be appropriate. The OCC proposes to amend the definition of ‘‘investment grade’’ in 12 CFR part 1 to no longer reference credit ratings.

Instead, ‘‘investment grade’’ securities would be those where the issuer has an adequate capacity to meet the financial commitments under the security for the projected life of the investment. An issuer has an adequate capacity to meet financial commitments if the risk of default by the obligor is low and the full and timely repayment of principal and interest is expected. Generally, securities with good to very strong credit quality will meet this standard. National banks will have to meet this new standard before purchasing investment securities...

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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