April 30, 2013
This bill continues to concentrate and centralize risk in financial institutions by allowing them to engage in more derivatives activities and still be eligible for government bailouts. Additionally, this concentration of risk will reduce balance sheet transparency and increase the difficulty for regulators in trying to identify and prevent risk concentrations before they pose a systemic risk.
Passed House without amendment (October 30, 2013) (This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act - Amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act with respect to the prohibition against certain federal assistance to swaps entities, namely the use of any advances from specified Federal Reserve credit facilities or discount windows, or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance or guarantees, for the purpose of: (1) making any loan to, or purchasing any stock, equity interest, or debt obligation of, any swaps entity; (2) purchasing the assets of any swaps entity; (3) guaranteeing any loan or debt issuance of any swaps entity; or (4) entering into any assistance arrangement (including tax breaks), loss sharing, or profit sharing with any swaps entity. Extends to any major swap participant or major security-based swap participant that is an uninsured U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank the exemption from the prohibition against federal assistance to swaps entities which is currently limited to any major swap participant or major security-based swap participant that is an FDIC-insured bank or savings association. Designates both uninsured U.S. branches or agencies of a foreign bank and insured depository institutions as "covered depository institutions." Requires any covered depository institution exempted from the prohibition to limit its swap and security-based swap activities to hedging and similar risk mitigating activities (as under current law), non-structured finance swap activities, or certain structured finance swap activities. (Defines "structured finance swap" as a swap or security-based swap based on an asset-backed security [or group or index primarily composed of asset-backed securities].) Qualifies a structured finance swap activity for the exemption if: (1) it is undertaken for hedging or risk management purposes, or (2) each asset-backed security underlying the structured finance swap is of a credit quality and of a type or category with respect to which the prudential regulators have jointly adopted rules authorizing such a swap or security-based swap activity by covered depository institutions. Repeals the exemption from the prohibition for any insured depository institution that limits its swap and security-based swap activities to acting as a swaps entity for: (1) swaps or security-based swaps involving rates or reference assets that are permissible for investment by a national bank; or (2) credit default swaps, including those referencing the credit risk of asset-backed securities unless they are cleared by a derivatives clearing organization or a clearing agency registered, or exempt from registration, under the Commodity Exchange Act or the Securities Exchange Act.