Fed delays Volcker Rule requirement that banks sell off risky investments in hedge funds

WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve is delaying by two years a requirement that U.S. banks sell off their riskiest investments such as stakes in private equity and hedge funds.

Banks say they need more time to complete the sales.

The sales are mandated by the Volcker Rule, approved in 2010 as part of a massive congressional overhaul of banking regulations known as the Dodd-Frank Act. It is intended to limit banks’ riskiest trading bets that could implode at taxpayers’ expense. These investments helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis.

The Fed said Thursday that it plans to extend from July 2015 to July 2017 the deadline by which banks will have to sell their stakes. It had already granted one-year extensions.