WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission said it is motivated by the recent passage of the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act of 2006 and plans to wrap up its proposed new rules to implement the bank broker provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by Dec. 31.

After passage of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, banks' abilities to engage in securities activities without registering as a broker or dealer depend on their coming within more "narrowly tailored exceptions." Those exceptions were to have become effective on May 12, 2001, but SEC adopted interim rules that postponed full compliance and through a series of orders, extended banks' exemption from the definition of "broker" to Sept. 30, 2006. It is this recent exemption that further extends until Jan. 15, 2007. The deadline does not apply to credit unions.

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said with the expectation that proposed new rules will be issued by Dec. 31, 2006, the agency has extended the current exemption from the definition of "broker" until Jan. 15, 2007. The extension will give SEC and the banking regulators time to complete the rule-writing and propose new rules before the exemption expires, the agency said.

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