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Regulation of Financial Institutions

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Getting Started

This guide is meant to help you find laws and information regarding the regulation of financial institutions; the goal is to provide useful (but not exhaustive) resources. 

Good research requires analysis and synthesis of information, and no one resource will likely provide sufficient information or data on any given topic.

While conducting your research, you may want to explore: 

  • Laws and regulations governing financial institutions

  • Government, industry, and/or advocacy organizations relating to financial institutions

  • Secondary sources, including treatises, articles (both scholarly and practical), and practice or study aids

  • News sources and other current awareness

For many of the relevant databases, you will need your Harvard Key or University ID and PIN.  For others, you may need to register with your Harvard email address to gain access.  If you have any trouble accessing a database, please contact the library.

For more ideas email Lisa Lilliott.

 

Legal Database Practice Centers

The following legal research databases all contain Practice Centers or Practice Areas concerning the regulation of financial institutions. While each database provides links to the relevant statutes, regulations, administrative guidance, and case law, they each offer a different array of secondary sources and practice tools. As a result, it is a good idea to consult as many as possible.

Primary Sources

Laws & Regulations

Financial institutions are governed by both federal and state law. - this guide will focus on federal law. Below are links to a number of publicly available sources of statutes and regulations concerning the regulation of financial institutions. In addition, you can use various legal research databases (e.g., Bloomberg Law, Lexis, and Westlaw) to access these laws.

US Statutes

  • Title 12 US Code -  Banks & Banking
  • Laws that Govern the Securities Industry Part of the SEC website; provides information about – and links to – the full text of:
    • the Securities Act of 1933,
    • the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
    • the Trust Indenture Act of 1939,
    • the Investment Company Act of 1940,
    • the Investment Advisers Act of 1940,
    • the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,
    • the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, and
    • the Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act

Congressional Committees

US Regulations

Title 12:  Banks & Banking
Title 13:  Business & Credit Assistance
Title 16:  Commercial Practices
Title 17:  Commodity and Security Exchanges
Title 31:  Money and Finance: Treasury

Federal Regulatory Agencies

A number of federal agencies and sub-agencies oversee and regulate financial institutions and financial markets in the U.S., each with specific responsibilities but with the common goal of protecting investors and consumers through sensible regulations.

Commodities Regulation

Consumer Protection

Depository Institutions

Pensions

Securities

Tax

Recent Federal Register Notices - Money

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Secondary Sources

Treatises

Practice and Study Aids

Law Reviews & Scholarly Journals

Organizations & Associations

Useful Tools

Legal Database Practice Centers

The following legal research databases all contain Practice Centers or Practice Areas concerning the regulation of financial institutions. While each database provides links to the relevant statutes, regulations, administrative guidance, and case law, they each offer a different array of secondary sources and practice tools. As a result, it is a good idea to consult as many as possible.

Finding Regulatory Information, Corporate Disclosures, Law Firm Memos, and More

If you are trying find regulatory information (e.g., information about new or proposed regulations, administrative rulings or other guidance), corporate disclosures, industry news, real-time data, or law/accounting firm memos that include analysis of securities, M&A, tax or other issues, here are some useful tools you can use.

Bloomberg Law (requires individual account):

  • ​Laws, Rules & Agency Materials (Banking & Finance Practice Center)
  • SEC Filings:
    • Click on the "Browse" link (to the left of the search bar), then select "Corporate & Transactional."
      • To search for EDGAR filings, click on "EDGAR Search"
      • To search follow SEC disclosure issues, click on "EDGAR Comment Threads"
      • To search for No-Action Letters, click on "SEC No-Action Letters"
    • Construct your search using the template provided
    • For guidance in constructing searches, click on "Example Searches" instead of selecting a specific type of search
  • Law Firm Analysis & Law Firm Client Alerts:
    • Click on the "Browse" link (to the left of the search bar), then select "All Legal Content Search."
    • After typing the keywords you want to search, select the Sources to search (under the link for "Browse My Favorites").
    • Expand "U.S. Secondary Sources," then select "Law Firm Analysis" and "Law Firm Client Alerts." 
    • Click "Search" (bottom right) to run your search.
    • Use the Filters (left margin) to narrow your results.
    • Click "Create Alert" (above the results list) to create an alert to learn of new Law Firm Analysis or Client Alerts that meets your search criteria.
  • SEC ALJ Enforcement Analytics - a new analytical tool for SEC Administrative Law Judge rulings

Lexis Securities Mosaic (requires your HUID & PIN):  

Westlaw (requires individual account):

Free Resources

Current Awareness

Dodd-Frank Act

Dodd-Frank Act: Background

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC)

Agencies 

Nearly 80% of the rulemaking provisions of Dodd-Frank assign responsibilities to four (4) agencies:  the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Dodd-Frank also created within the US Treasury, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).

Government Reports

Practitioner Services  

Legislative History

Book

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Law, Explanation and Analysis (CCH; 2010)

Recommended as an overview of the law, with explanations on particular legislation and potential regulation. Published upon enactment of the legislation.

Journal

Recent Modifications to Dodd-Frank Reforms

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