As banking industry regulation has proliferated in the wake of the financial crisis, the Debevoise Banking Group has grown to more than 20 lawyers with expertise that spans the landscape of regulatory regimes and agencies. The practice advises financial industry clients on mergers and acquisitions, U.S. and international regulatory and compliance issues, enforcement matters, capital markets activities and new product development.
The Group’s work on the Dodd-Frank Act and other U.S. and global efforts at financial reform has, according to Chambers USA, put it on the “cutting edge of regulatory advisory and transactional work.”
With lawyers in New York, London and Washington, D.C., the Banking Group has close relationships with, and long experience advocating before and negotiating with, regulators in the United States, the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, including the Federal Reserve and other U.S. banking regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Justice, state attorneys general and the New York Department of Financial Services. The team has also worked closely with clients on issues before the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the Financial Stability Board and other inter-agency groups that are developing new standards and frameworks for the banking and financial services industry. The team includes lawyers who have held senior positions at regulatory and enforcement agencies.
The Banking practice combines a nuanced understanding of the regulatory terrain with the firm’s strong litigation and transactional resources. The result is an ability to handle the most esoteric technical issues, manage critical enforcement and compliance challenges in the new regulatory environment and lead complex and sophisticated transactions.
Working closely with white collar and government investigation attorneys in the firm’s top-ranked Litigation practice, the Group has been involved in myriad enforcement matters, including those involving anti-money laundering and sanctions, fair lending, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, mortgage servicing and securitization, privacy and data security, as well as litigations brought by private parties.
The Trump Administration plans to roll out a number of changes in the regulatory space, including for the financial services industry. We will closely follow these developments and examine the implications for our clients and their businesses.
This resource page will be updated regularly with new information, insights and analyses. To sign up for Debevoise updates, please click here.
Revisiting Dodd-Frank's $50 Billion Asset Threshold Gains Momentum
Legislation with bipartisan support is pending in both houses of the U.S. Congress to revise the $50 billion asset threshold in the Dodd-Frank Act that triggers application of enhanced prudential standards for U.S. and foreign bank holding companies. Read more >
FSOC: Early Years to Lasting and Evolving Role
A decade after we saw the first signs of the credit crisis in 2007, the financial industry continues to grapple with the regulatory reforms, litigation and enforcement actions that have followed. This Expert Analysis series explores the crisis' profound impact and where we stand today. Read more >
FinReg Reform Steps Continue: Treasury Report and CHOICE 2.0
On June 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a report setting out a series of recommendations for revisions to the U.S. bank regulatory framework in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on “Core Principles” for financial regulation. Read more >
CHOICE 2.0 and New Presidential Memoranda
On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017, H.R. 10, by a strict party-line vote. The bill, which has been referred to as “CHOICE 2.0,” because it is a revised version of legislation that was considered in the House in the previous congressional session, would repeal, modify and substantively revise many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. Read more >
The CHOICE Act Is A Bad Choice For Financial Reform
House Republicans look to repeal or significantly modify several elements of the Dodd-Frank Act with the Financial CHOICE Act, presenting one of the most rapid regulatory reversals in modern political history. Read more >
The CLS Blue Sky Blog: Columbia Law School’s Blog On Corporations And The Capital Markets
Trump Orders Review of DOL Fiduciary Rule; DOL to Consider Delay
As the DOL determines how to comply with President Trump’s memorandum to re-examine its fiduciary “investment advice” rule, a delay of the rule’s current effective date seems inevitable. Read more >
Executive Order and DOL Memo Signal Shift in Federal Financial Regulatory Agenda
President Trump’s Executive Order for the Treasury Secretary and Memorandum for the Secretary of Labor signal the new administration’s push to ease federal financial regulatory restrictions promulgated in the wake of the Dodd-Frank Act. Read more >
United States Imposes New Sanctions on North Korea
On Wednesday, 20 September 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to further expand U.S. sanctions targeting North Korea. The new executive order, for the first time, authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department to sanction foreign banks that engage in “significant” transactions with North Korea, and to block specific bank accounts linked to North Korea, while also targeting North Korea’s business operations and international partners. Read more >
How New US Sanctions On Venezuela Target Financing
On Friday, Aug. 24, President Trump issued Executive Order 13808, imposing broad financial sanctions on the government of Venezuela. The action was taken in response to political developments in Venezuela, including the establishment of the new Constituent Assembly, increasing human rights abuses, “rampant corruption” and restrictions on the exercise of “fundamental freedoms.” Read more >
United States Imposes New Sanctions on Venezuela
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Venezuelan government entities, including the Venezuelan oil company PdVSA. The sanctions bar certain transactions in equity and debt, including existing securities in some cases. Read more >
U.S. Congress Passes Final Sanctions Legislation
On July 27, 2017, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that expands U.S. sanctions against Russia and adopts additional sanctions against Iran and North Korea. If adopted as law, the bill would, among other actions, establish a congressional review process to authorize any changes to existing sanctions against Russia, expand the sectoral sanctions program and authorize secondary sanctions against non-U.S. persons for engaging in certain Russia-related activities. Read more >
U.S. Senate Seeks to Expand Sanctions on Iran, Russia
The U.S. Senate recently voted in favor of adopting legislation aimed at strengthening sanctions against Iran and Russia. The bill proposes, among other actions, to expand the scope of U.S. sanctions, tighten existing restrictions and limit the Executive Branch’s ability to dismantle the current sanctions targeting Russia and Russian companies. Read more >
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
Executive Order on Cybersecurity Raises More Questions than It Answers
On May 11, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order primarily designed to strengthen the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical national infrastructure. The Order also seeks to identify international cybersecurity priorities and means of developing a more robust cybersecurity workforce. Read more >
Privacy Shield Not Trumped
Contrary to speculation, President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration does not undo Privacy Shield, the EU-US data transfer protocol. Read more >
New York Eases Proposed Cybersecurity Regulation for Financial Sector, But Practical Issues Remain
New York’s Department of Financial Services has responded to a large volume of comments about its proposed, sweeping cybersecurity regulation for banks, insurers and other financial service providers by softening a number of provisions that many in the industry had criticized as onerous and overly prescriptive. Read more >
Where Does Healthcare Reform Stand?
Since the breakdown of congressional attempts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, both President Trump and Congress have taken steps that could have a significant impact on the healthcare industry.Read more >
The “Better Care Act”: Winners and Losers in the Healthcare Industry
The Better Care Act, if enacted, would have a significant impact on every subsector of the healthcare industry. Some of these changes would not take place for several years and these cutbacks might be repealed by a future Congress. The Better Care Act includes provisions that would be favorable to insurers but harmful to providers (both hospitals and physicians), pharmaceutical companies and the medical device industries. Read more >
The Senate’s Healthcare Bill – What’s In It?
The Better Care Act is the Senate Republican leadership’s response to the American Health Care Act, passed by the House on May 4, 2017. The Better Care Act would accomplish many of the same objectives as the American Health Care Act, but it would achieve these results through different means. Read more >
The United States Withdraws From the Paris Agreement on Climate Change
On June 1, 2017, President Trump confirmed that he will carry out his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which has been widely regarded as a watershed moment in the global fight against climate change. The decision isolates the United States from the 194 other countries that signed the Agreement. Read more >
The Outlook for International Law Under President Trump
President-elect Trump has promised to bring about seismic changes in the positions of the United States on various international arrangements. Read more >
House Releases Sweeping Tax Reform Legislation
Kicking off what is likely the beginning of a complex legislative process, the House Committee on Ways and Means has released sweeping tax reform legislation in draft form that would significantly lower tax rates. Read more >
Tax Reform Frame Released - Picture Missing
the Administration and leaders of the Congressional tax-writing committees released a “unified framework” for tax reform legislation that would significantly lower tax rates (including a 20% corporate income tax rate). The framework upends many fundamental and long-standing principles of the U.S. income tax system. Read more >
The Trump Tax Reform Proposals
The Trump administration released its long-anticipated proposal for tax reform, setting out general principles for reform in a one-page proposal and leaving many questions unanswered. The proposal would replace our current worldwide taxation system with a territorial system that taxes American companies only on income related to the United States, and would impose a one-time tax on existing offshore earnings. Read more >
Government Insights into the New Partnership Tax Audit Regime
The Treasury Department and the IRS released proposed regulations under the partnership audit regime created by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The regulations offer valuable insight into the Treasury’s and the IRS’s views on how the BBA Regime should be implemented. Read more >
In the News
Multinationals Wary of Minimum Tax in Republican Framework
“If that’s the case, in some respects, the new regime may be less favorable than the current regime, which does effectively permit you indefinite deferral,” he [Peter A. Furci] said.
Is regulation really keeping banks from lending?
“It’s not the kind of issue that lends itself to crisp, absolute answers, unfortunately,” said Greg Lyons.
Trump Bank Noms To Face Grilling Over Dodd-Frank Rollback
"What are his views on the Fed acting alone and as quickly as he can, rather than waiting for Congress?" said David Portilla.
Will the Trump Administration Soften FCPA Enforcement?
“I think everyone is waiting to see if there’s going to be a shift,” said Kara Novaco Brockmeyer.
Bloomberg Law Big Law Business
Two Insiders on SEC’s Possible Future Under Clayton
“’I really feel like the SEC has established itself as a tough but fair aggressive regulator,’ said [partner Andrew] Ceresney. ‘A lot of what we did at the SEC has resulted in a real enhancement of its reputation.’
‘Both enforcement at the SEC and DOJ, I think, will remain quite strong,’ said [partner Mary Jo] White.”
Bloomberg Law Big Law Business
Here’s How Trump Could Dismantle Wall Street Reform
“There is a sense in the industry that it should be easier to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it,” said David Portilla, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, who served as a senior policy adviser to the FSOC in 2012 and 2013. “The administration could refocus FSOC on streamlining regulations rather than increasing regulatory burdens as it has been.”
The Washington Post
Cheat Sheet: What Trump Can — And Can’t — Do To Dodd-Frank
“This just shows that the administration is focused on reversing the swing of the regulatory pendulum,” said David Portilla, former senior policy adviser at the Treasury for the FSOC and a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. “There’s going to be change, and I think the agencies are going to likely adjust their approach to a number of issues.”
Donald Trump’s Pledge To Loosen Regulations On Businesses Is A Heavy Lift
“Even if the rule book doesn’t change, the way the rule book is applied could change,” said David Portilla, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. “There will be change, but it’s going to be slower than the initial headlines and not as big as the initial headlines.”
The Wall Street Journal