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SEC Enacts Rules For Bank Broker-Dealers

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Eight years after passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Board have adopted rules for implementing the act’s bank provisions.

The act changed the definition of “broker” in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 so that banks would no longer be excluded completely from broker-dealer registration requirements.

The SEC’s proposed Regulation R would allow these bank broker exceptions while accommodating the traditional business practices of banks, officials say.

One newly adopted provision would allow banks to receive “nominal” incentives for referring bank customers to broker-dealers.

The rule defines incentive compensation to clarify that banks can use certain types of bonus plans freely.

The final rules also allow banks to pay more than nominal fees for referrals of certain institutional customers and high-net worth-customers to a broker or dealer.

The Federal Reserve Board plans to consider the final rules at its Sept. 24 meeting.