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Financial Services Public Policy

The financial crisis has resulted in unprecedented financial services regulatory activity across the globe. Policy responses range from enactment and implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”), the most comprehensive revision of the U.S. legal and regulatory framework governing the financial services industry since the Great Depression, to pursuit of a Capital Markets Union in Europe, with similar efforts underway in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, the crisis has enhanced the stature of international regulatory bodies and has even resulted in the establishment of new ones, such as the Financial Stability Board. Consequently, there is extensive consultation and coordination between U.S. and international regulators. Despite this increased intergovernmental dialogue, however, policymakers in the U.S., EU, and Asia-Pacific are taking different, sometimes conflicting, approaches to financial services regulation.

Based in major financial and political centers, the K&L Gates Financial Services Policy Practice represents clients on cutting-edge financial regulatory reform issues, often in one or more jurisdictions. Combining one of the largest and most experienced financial services practice groups with the policy and regulatory know-how of the fifth largest firm public policy practice in the U.S. (Legal Times, October 2015), and the capabilities of a truly integrated global law firm, K&L Gates is uniquely positioned to advise on and impact legislative and regulatory changes to the benefit of our clients, as evidenced by the firm’s ranking as one of the most influential firms in lobbying and government policy work (Chambers USA, 2017).

The Financial Services Policy Practice is able to provide unrivaled services and insights on continuing implementation and rulemaking under the Dodd-Frank Act, Congressional oversight, and international regulatory reform and harmonization efforts. With financial services regulation taking an increasingly international dimension, we are well-positioned to advocate for our clients before domestic and foreign regulators and legislative bodies. K&L Gates lawyers and professionals from multiple practice areas around the globe offer a full spectrum of services relating to financial and capital markets issues, including: public policy, derivatives, commodities futures, depository institutions, broker-dealers, securities trading, securitization, hedge funds, insurance, annuities, investment banking, investment management, mortgage banking, cybersecurity, and consumer finance.

In an increasingly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which the rules are changing, a multifaceted strategy is an integral part of many business plans. An effective strategy seamlessly integrates legislative, regulatory, and litigation components. We solve clients’ most difficult problems by understanding policy issues from every direction—substantively and politically—and navigating the halls of governmental decision makers to ensure that the interests of our clients are effectively represented where and when it most matters.

We work regularly with the key Congressional committees and leadership, as well as the CFPB, CFTC, Departments of Treasury and Labor, FDIC, FINRA, FHFA, FRB, FSOC, HUD/FHA, OCC, SEC, and the White House. Our team has extensive experience in challenging agency actions and regulations in the courts. Additionally, we provide substantive and strategic counsel with regard to proposals from the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, as well as BCBS, EBA, FSB, ESMA, EIOPA, IAIS, and IOSCO.

With new proposals, regulations, and laws coming from every direction, the K&L Gates Regulatory Action Detection and Response (R.A.D.A.R.) keeps our clients up to date by providing a comprehensive guide on financial regulatory developments in the U.S., the EU, and major international regulators.

Whether clients simply require insight and understanding, or seek to proactively influence proposed legislation, regulatory changes, or agency interpretations, K&L Gates has the know-how to help our clients achieve their objectives and the reputation of being a top-10 law firm for client service (2016 BTI “Client Service 30” survey).

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Amendments to H.R. 10, the “Financial CHOICE Act”

  • Amendment No. 1.  Offered by Chairman Hensarling, the manager’s amendment would make technical revisions to certain aspects of the FCA, namely provisions: (1) subjecting particular functions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Administration to the Congressional appropriations process; (2) providing Congressional access to non-public information at the Financial Stability Oversight Council; and (3) concerning the appointments of positions created under the FCA. 
  • Amendment No. 2.  Offered by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the amendment would streamline the securities offering registration process for certain closed-end funds that are listed on a national securities exchange by allowing such funds to be considered “well-known seasoned issuers.” 
  • Amendment No. 3.  Offered by Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), the amendment would express the sense of Congress that consumer reporting agencies should implement stronger authentication procedures when allowing access to consumers’ personal information in order to sufficiently protect such information from identity theft. 
  • Amendment No. 4Offered by Rep. John Faso (R-NY), the amendment would allow mutual holding companies to waive the receipt of dividends. 
  • Amendment No 5.  Offered by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), the amendment would require the Department of the Treasury to submit a report to Congress about Treasury’s efforts to work with federal bank regulators, financial institutions, and money service businesses to ensure the free movement of legitimate financial transactions along the southern U.S. border. 
  • Amendment No 6.  Offered by Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), the amendment would require the General Services Administration (“GSA”) to study the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency’s (“CLEA”) real estate needs, in light of the changes in the agency’s structure that are provisioned under the FCA.  In addition, the amendment would authorize the GSA to sell the current CLEA building if the agency’s real estate needs have changed and if there is no government department or agency that can utilize the building.  (The FCA provides that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be renamed the CLEA.)