How will latest changes to Volcker Rule affect non-US banks?
Kathleen A. Scott discusses the final Volcker Rule, focusing on some of the issues raised by non-US banks in their comments.
On May 17, 2016, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) amended the current sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) to ease certain restrictions on doing business in the country. OFAC also amended the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN”) list. OFAC designed the amendments to support trade in Burma in light of the country’s recent competitive elections and other steps to transition to a democratically-elected government. Specifically, OFAC announced that the amendments should: (1) facilitate the movements of goods within Burma; (2) allow certain transactions related to US individuals residing in Burma; and (3) allow most transactions involving designated financial institutions.
With respect to the SDN list, OFAC removed seven state-owned enterprises and three state-owned banks, Myanmar Economic Bank, Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank, and Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (while adding certain other entities associated with the prior ruling military junta).
Additional easing of the sanctions is likely. For example, US entities and individuals currently must report investments in Burma of more than US$500,000 to the State Department. A proposal under consideration reportedly would raise the threshold to US$5 million, thus easing a regulatory restriction that some companies may have seen as too burdensome when considering whether to conduct business in Burma.
OFAC published a final rule that modifies the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to revoke the so-called "U-turn" authorization.