more-arw search

Reviewing a Year in Regulation

U.S. corporations came under new regulations in 2012.

Reuters contributors Helen Chan, Chris Elias and John Mackie recently compiled a list of some of the major regulatory changes around the world in 2011. In the U.S., the biggest piece of legislation to impact businesses was the far-reaching Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection

Reuters contributors Helen Chan, Chris Elias and John Mackie recently compiled a list of some of the major regulatory changes around the world in 2011. In the U.S., the biggest piece of legislation to impact businesses was the far-reaching Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This law was approved in 2010, but many of its provisions went into effect last year, including its cap on the interchange fees credit card companies could charge merchants for processing debit cards.

Additionally, the authors note, Dodd-Frank updated part of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, adding a rule to protect employees who blow the whistle on illegal practices at their own companies. "The rule’s complexities, however, may be making foreign companies extremely wary of the program’s reach," they warn.

Disclosures were also a primary focus of the law - such as litigation exposure, cyber-threats and interactions with certain countries - and came with a requirement that corporations set up independent compensation committees.

According to a release from Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton LLP, the SEC added another rule to the list right at the end of 2011. It approved a proposal introduced in January 2011 that would change what is considered when a person is seeking accredited investor status. The value of the person's home is no longer considered in the net worth test, the firm said.