How the Dodd-Frank Act affects Investment Banking

The regulatory reform known as the Dodd-Frank Act has been hailed as the most revolutionary, comprehensive financial policy implemented in the United States since the years of the Great Depression. Created to protect consumers and investors, the Dodd-Frank Act is made up of a set of regulations and restrictions overseen by a number of specific government departments. As a result of this continuous scrutiny, banks and financial institutions are now subject to more-stringent accountability and full-disclosure transparency in all transactions.

The Dodd-Frank Act was also created to keep checks and balances on mega-giant financial firms that were considered too big to crash or default. This was especially deemed crucial after the collapse of the powerhouse financial institution Lehman Brothers in 2008. The intended result is to bring an end to the recent rash of bailouts that have plagued the U.S. financial system.

Additionally, the Dodd-Frank Act was created to protect consumers from unethical, abusive practices in the financial services industry. In recent years, reports of many of these abuses have centered around unethical lending practices and astronomically-high interest rates from mortgage lenders and banks.

Originally created by Representative Barney Frank, Senator Chris Dodd and Senator Dick Durbin, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as it is officially called, originated as a response to the problems and financial abuses that had been exposed during the nation’s economic recession, which began to worsen in 2008. The bill was signed into law and enacted by President Obama on July 21, 2010.

Although it may seem complicated, the Dodd-Frank Act can be more easily comprehended if broken down to its most essential points, especially the points that most affect investment banking. Here are some of the component acts within the Dodd-Frank Act that directly involve regulation for investment banks and lending institutions:

* Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC): The FSOC is a committee of nine member departments, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With the Treasury Secretary as chairman, the FSOC determines whether or not a bank is getting too big. If it is, the Federal Reserve can request that a bank increase its reserve requirement, which is made up of funds in reserve that aren’t being used for business or lending costs. The FSOC also has contingencies for banks in case they become insolvent in any way.

? The Volcker Rule: The Volcker Rule bans banks from investing, owning or trading any funds for their own profit. This includes sponsoring hedge funds, maintaining private equity funds, and any other sort of similar trading or investing. As an exception, banks will still be allowed to do trading under certain conditions, such as currency trading to circulate and offset their own foreign currency holdings. The primary purpose of the Volcker Rule is to prohibit banks from trading for their own financial gain, rather than trading for the benefit of their clients. The Volcker Rule also serves to prohibit banks from putting their own capital in high-risk investments, particularly since the government is guaranteeing all of their deposits. For the next two years, the government has given banks a grace period to restructure their own funding system so as to comply with this rule.

? Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): The CFTC regulates derivative trades and requires them to be made in public. Derivative trades, such as credit default swaps, are regularly transacted among financial institutions, but the new regulation insures that all such trades must now be done under full disclosure.

? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The CFPB was created to protect customers and consumers from unscrupulous, unethical business practices by banks and other financial institutions. One way the CFPB works is by providing a toll-free hotline for consumers with questions about mortgage loans and other credit and lending issues. The 24- hour hotline also allows consumers to report any problems they have with specific financial services and institutions.

? Whistle-Blowing Provision: As part of its plan to eradicate corrupt insider trading practices, the Dodd-Frank Act has a proviso allowing anyone with information about these types of violations to come forward. Consumers can report these irregularities directly to the government, and may be eligible to receive a financial reward for doing so.

Critics of the Dodd-Frank Act feel that these regulations are too harsh, and speculate that the enactment of these restrictions will only serve to send more business to European investment banks. Nevertheless, there is general agreement that the Dodd-Frank Act became necessary because of the unscrupulous behaviour of the financial institutions themselves. Although these irregular and ultimately unethical practices resulted in the downfall of some institutions, others survived or were bailed out at the government’s expense.

Because of these factors, there was more than the usual bi-partisan support for the Dodd-Frank Act. As a means of checks and balances, the hope is that the new regulations will make the world of investment banking a safer place for the consumer.

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

Check our similar posts

Which KPI?s to Use in CRM

Customer relationship management emerged in the 1980?s in the form of database marketing. In those tranquil pre-social media days, the possibility of ?managing? clients may have been a possibility although Twitter and Facebook took care of that. Modern managers face a more dynamic environment. If you are one, then what are the trends you should be monitoring yourself (as opposed to leaving it to others).

If you want to drip feed plants, you have to keep the flow of liquid regular. The same applies to drip-feed marketing. Customers are fickle dare we say forgetful. Denizon recommends you monitor each department in terms of Relationship Freshness. When were the people on your list last contacted, and what ensued from this?

Next up comes the Quality of Engagements that follow from these efforts. How often do your leads respond at all, and how many interfaces does it take to coax them into a decision? You need to relate this to response blocks and unsubscribes. After a while you will recognise the tipping point where it is pointless to continue.

Response Times relate closely to this. If your marketing people are hot then they should get a fast response to sales calls, email shots and live chats. It is essential to get back to the lead again as soon as possible. You are not the only company your customers are speaking too. Fortune belongs to the fast and fearless.

The purpose of marketing is to achieve Conversions, not generate data for the sake of it. You are paying for these interactions and should be getting more than page views. You need to drill down by department on this one too. If one team is outperforming another consider investing in interactive training.

Finally Funnel Drop-Off Rate. Funnel analysis identifies the points at which fish fall off the hook and seeks to understand why this is happening. If people click your links, make enquiries and then drift away, you have a different set of issues as opposed to if they do not respond at all.

You should be able to pull most of this information off your CRM system if it is half-decent, although you may need to trigger a few options and re orientate reporting by your people in the field. When you have your big data lined up speak to us. We have a range of data analysts brimming over with fresh ideas.

How Sustainable is Suez Environment

French-based Suez Environment works in the water and waste-management environment, with specific reference to water production, treatment, & pollution disposal, and waste treatment, recycling, incineration and site desensitisation. Its more than 65,000 employees distributed worldwide have participated in flagship projects like Renault’s goal of 95% reclamation of vehicle parts, and Lyonnaise des Eaux?s saving of 12 million cubic meters of water in a single year.

Suez Environment claims to have consistently increased the recovery rate of treated waste, decreased direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and made significant inroads into the production of sustainable energy on behalf of its clients. But then surely that’s Suez Environment’s business, and with over 65,000 employees we are entitled to expect this. Given that there have been persistent allegations of privatised water distribution bumping prices up to the detriment of the poor, how effective is Suez Environment at practising what it preaches back home?

GDF Suez is its largest shareholder and includes it under its environmental and societal responsibility umbrella. This makes environmental performance an overarching goal alongside management systems, health and safety, risk and procurement, and ethics. Its environmental ambitions spin out into the following strategies:

  • Understand the interactions between our activities and the environment
  • Open dialogue with stakeholders and foster partnerships with them
  • Set quantitative and qualitative targets at all levels of the organisation
  • Achieve optimum balance between financial and environmental challenges
  • Be proactive; anticipate impacts on the environment and plan for them
  • Increase employee awareness through interactive training and education
  • Be constantly innovative; share successes within the organisation
  • Monitor progress continuously and publish measured results achieved.

These goals direct the Suez Environment management team?s attention towards optimising performance in key areas like greenhouse gases, energy management, renewable energy, biodiversity, responsible water management, pollution prevention and health and safety considerations.

Among numerous other examples, its waste incineration programs convert hazardous and conventional waste into heat used to generate electricity without requiring virgin carbon products. Elsewhere, the same energy warms market-gardening tunnels and work places on winter days.

Suez Environment uses sophisticated energy management software to analyse information that’s transmitted by data logging devices online. ecoVaro provides a similar service in the cloud. ecoVaro adapts to your requirements providing fresh insights to your business.

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
Outsourcing

Are you ready to outsource? Do you even need to outsource? We’ll help you answer those and other questions regarding outsourcing and your company.

Once we’ve determined that outsourcing will render your organisation more focused on your core competencies, more cost-effective, and more flexible, we’ll offer you the full spectrum of our services. Our specialists can assist you in every stage of the entire outsourcing life-cycle.

Starting from evaluating what can be outsourced, through finding the right outsourcing service provider, building the contract and agreements, getting everything in place, and managing the outsourcing relationship – we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Learn more about some of the outsourcing services we offer:

Outsourcing Contracts and Agreements

When an outsourcing project fails, both customer and service provider are quick to put the blame on the other party. But in most cases, the actual culprit was really just sitting there since day one – a poorly planned and implemented agreement.

We understand how costly and disruptive a failed outsourcing project can be for your business. That is why we put utmost attention to each contract and SLA (Service Level Agreement) that our customers enter into. This always reduces the likelihood of having unmet expectations, one of the major reasons why some outsourcing relationships fail.

We make sure that each agreement is fair, not only for our customers but also for the service providers themselves. Why? Because a disadvantaged provider will most likely end up delivering poor service as an offshoot of efforts to improve its profitability and ROI.

To accomplish this, we’ll thoroughly assess the infrastructure, resources, and expertise of your potential service provider to ensure they have the capability to meet your expectations. We’ll also make sure that their expectations are realistic and clear to you as well.

Here’s what you can expect from us when we start managing your outsourcing contracts and agreements:

  • A thorough assessment of your specific needs and the service provider’s profile to determine whether you have the right match before proceeding with any agreement.
  • Professional assistance when the time comes for you to discuss the scope of work, expected service levels, and when negotiating for appropriate pricing. We’ll also help you set up provisions for possible changes in the scope later on.
  • Expert counsel during drafting and finalisation of the contract and Service Level Agreements. Whenever applicable, we’ll help you propose penalties whenever service levels are not met and rewards when they are exceeded.
  • Regular reviews to determine whether everything agreed upon in the past, like pricing and service levels, are still realistic or competitive enough in view of current technological advancements and the prevailing social and economic environment.
  • Mediation expertise whenever the outsourcing project appears to be falling apart. We’ll work with you and the service provider to resolve conflicts and avoid the expensive exercise of having to terminate the contract. But if the best solution is to part ways, we’ll make sure you make an exit with the least disruption, missed opportunities and financial loss.

Application Outsourcing

I’m sure you’ve come to realise that to gain competitive advantage these days, you really need to invest in IT applications.

There are applications for enhancing your customer relationships, speeding up production, streamlining processes, advancing collaboration, protecting your systems from malware and many more. Selecting the right application, testing it, implementing it into your system, and then managing it can deviate resources which would have otherwise been used in other areas to build business value, increase profits, and enhance innovation.

Wouldn’t it be nice to unload yourself of the management processes which usually accompany IT applications? Actually, you can – through application outsourcing. Application outsourcing providers possess the expertise to either partially or fully assume responsibility of your IT applications.

Our job is to see to it that you link up with the provider who can best answer your needs. The overall proficiency of these providers spans both proprietary and opensource solutions, allowing them to cater to a wide range of preferences and budgetary limits. At the very least, they can provide professional support for well established applications.

If needed, they can develop applications for your organisation, taking charge of every step in the system development life-cycle: starting from system initiation, requirements analysis, through design, construction, acceptance and eventually to implementation.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy once we start managing your application outsourcing initiatives:

  • Freedom from time-consuming tasks such as installations, upgrades, configurations and repairs.
  • Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • 24/7 support from well-trained personnel. This can substantially cut downtimes caused by inexperienced troubleshooting.
  • The option to have your applications housed in more secure and reliable environments with much higher availability and much lower planned/unplanned downtimes.
  • Dedicated specialists who can focus on providing better regulatory compliance and risk mitigation initiatives.

Infrastructure Outsourcing

Keeping up with the competition nowadays usually requires technological advancements as well as the capability to manage and maintain the infrastructure that has to support them. These undertakings can suck your resources dry.

If you’re looking to reduce costs even while improving the performance of your networks, servers, databases, firewalls, desktops and mobile devices, you might want to consider IT infrastructure outsourcing among your top options. Infrastructure outsourcing service providers have the resources dedicated to a stable, secure, scalable and always available IT infrastructure.

Typical service provider facilities include data centrers equipped with high-speed networks, reliable power, dependable security, as well as provisions for upgrades, consolidation, disaster recovery, or even business continuity.

These providers employ specialists and staff who can manage and maintain all of these for you. While your provider juggles your core IT-related tasks, you can keep your eye on the ball and refocus on your company’s business goals.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy out of infrastructure outsourcing:

  • Freedom from time-consuming tasks such as installations, upgrades, configurations and repairs.
  • Since service providers, who are expected to have better horizontal and vertical scalability, will deal with the technological intricacies, your company’s strategic development initiatives can proceed unhampered.
  • Greatly reduced electricity expenses as a result of consolidation.
  • Easier, faster, cheaper, and more reliable disaster-recovery solutions through virtualisation.
  • Lesser risks of disruptions caused by power outages, cyber attacks, or Internet connection downtimes.

Business Process Outsourcing

With the sheer number of business processes your company has to attend to, it wouldn’t be surprising if you rarely have room to innovate.

Through business process outsourcing, we can free a considerable part of your financial and manpower resources which are currently focused on routine activities. With more resources to drive innovative initiatives, you’ll be able to accelerate production, improve customer service, enhance overall business value, and arrive at a stronger bottom line.

Some of the business processes that may be outsourced include data entry, finance and accounting, form processing, procurement, and HR, among others. If you’re interested in finding answers to the what, how, who, and where of BPO, specific to your organisation, we’ll be happy to enlighten you.

Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy once we start managing your BPO initiatives:

  • Professional guidance to ensure that your BPO undertakings will really result in substantial savings and significant improvements to your organisation’s business value.
  • Careful monitoring of service levels to ensure faster turnaround, accurate data, and high quality outputs.
  • Expert evaluation of information handling processes to guarantee full confidentiality.
  • Professional and unbiased management dedicated to establishing a strong, reliable, and fruitful relationship between you and your provider.

Ready to work with Denizon?