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U.S. regulators seeking balance on Volcker rule and ways to cut compliance costs

January 19, 2012 - U.S. regulators said on Wednesday they believe their agencies could implement a ban on proprietary trading without crushing banks' ability to buy and sell securities on behalf of customers, and one official said he was seeking ways that banks could reduce costs of complying with the rule.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial oversight law's Volcker rule prevents banks that receive government backstops such as deposit insurance from making risky trades with their own funds. Supporters of the crackdown say it will make the financial system safer and more stable. Regulators, who released a proposed plan in October, have been under pressure from the banking industry since then, and last month extended the comment period into February to allow more time for additional commentary. Banks have strenuously argued the trading restrictions will have unintended consequences, freeze up liquidity and harm the economy.
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