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Japan bankers hint at exodus from US

Friday 7 January 2011 - by Will Henley

The Japanese Bankers Association has written to US authorities to plead with them to clarify the Volcker-rule, warning that the anti-proprietary trading regulation could lead foreign institutions to "fundamentally rethink their stance" on investing in the country.

In a formal response issued on Friday, the Tokyo-based association claims that if the Dodd-Frank rule is deemed to apply to transactions, it would have an "enormous influence".

It adds that an "explicit statement" is needed to the effect that institutions headquartered outside the United States and doing business outside the United States are deemed outside the scope of the rule.

"We believe that investments in US funds and investments in US subsidiaries should be exempt from implementation of this rule when such investments are booked in Tokyo," the letter reads.

"If this rule applies to such transactions, the impact would force foreign financial institutions to fundamentally rethink their stance toward investments in the United States.

The association represents 139 Japanese banks and 45 foreign banks based in Japan.

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