Tainted US banks want pension-fund OK

The one-year waivers, designed to give the Labor Department more time to consider granting longer waivers, will go into effect after a brief comment period, the Labor Department clarified in an e-mail on 28 November


AFP
AFP

The US Labor Department proposed granting temporary permission to five banks to continue managing certain US pension funds after conviction of the banks or their units potentially allowing the banks to move beyond their legal troubles over objections by some Democratic lawmakers.

The department proposed Qualified Professional Asset Manager waivers of a year to JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Barclays Plc and UBS Group AG, according to the Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organisations in the US. The one-year waivers, designed to give the Labor Department more time to consider granting longer waivers, will go into effect after a brief comment period, the Labor Department clarified in an e-mail on 28 November. UBS has a 5-day comment period, while the other banks have seven days. The Labor Department has proposed granting the banks 5-year waivers, which would become effective after a 45-day comment period, just before the Trump administration takes over on 20 January. “We take the ongoing process very seriously and firmly believe that the information we have provided to the Department of Labor supports the granting of a continuing exemption to allow us to serve our US pension plan clients without disruption to them,” Peter Stack, a spokesman for UBS, said by e-mail. Representatives of the other banks declined to comment.

Any institution or individual that manages pensions overseen by the Labor Department must seek permission to continue those operations after certain criminal convictions.

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