U.S. financial regulators move to exempt community banks from Volcker rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. financial regulators on Tuesday said they adopted a final rule that will exclude small, government-insured banks from regulations banning proprietary trading.

The rule excludes community banks with up to $10 billion in total assets from having to comply with the so-called Volcker rule, which prevents banks from making speculative bets with customer deposits or their own funds, as well as holding ownership in hedge funds or private equity funds.

The rule was jointly agreed upon by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agencies said in separate statements.

The regulators drew up Tuesday’s final rule following the 2018 rewrite of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, passed in the wake of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis.

The Volcker rule, which aims to protect taxpayers from picking up the tab for banks’ risky bets, also limits relationships between covered banks and hedge funds or private equity funds.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler