The US’ Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced on Friday it has banned its officials from purchasing individual stocks or sector funds, holding investments in individual bonds, agency securities and cryptocurrencies.
The move is part of a set of comprehensive new rules for the investment and trading activity of senior officials of the FOMC, which oversees the US’ open market operations.
The committee said it aims to support public confidence in the “impartiality and integrity” of its work “by guarding against even the appearance of any conflict of interest.”
Officials will also be prohibited from holding commodities and foreign currencies, entering into derivatives contracts, engaging in short sales or purchasing securities on margin.
In addition, they will be required to provide a 45-day notice for purchases and sales of securities, obtain prior approval for such transactions, and hold investments for at least one year.
“Purchases and sales also will be prohibited during periods of heightened financial market stress,” the FOMC said in a statement.
The new rules will apply to board members, presidents, vice presidents, research directors and staff officers within the Federal Reserve System, including their spouses and minor children, while additional staff will become subject to the rules after completion of further review.
The rules will take effect on May 1 this year.
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