The Volcker Rule and Covered Bonds

The Volcker Rule became effective on July 21, 2015. There are two aspects to the Volcker Rule: a prohibition on proprietary trading and a limitation on sponsoring or investing in a 'covered fund.' It is this second aspect of the Volcker Rule that concerns investors in covered bonds. The Volcker Rule applies to banks in the United States, including the branches, subsidiaries and affiliates of foreign banks. Even if the investor in a covered bond is not a bank subject to the Volcker Rule, if investment in the covered bonds is subject to the Volcker Rule,the secondary market liquidity for the covered bond can be adversely affected.

If the prospectus for the covered bond does not disclose whether an investment in the covered bond is limited under the Volcker Rule, how can you determine whether the Volcker Rule applies? This can be quite a complex analysis. Fortunately, Morrison & Foerster has written a helpful article on analyzing whether a covered bond is subject to the Volcker Rule. See A user's guide to Volcker Rule complexities.