In March 2017, the Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation of the Securities and Exchange Commission published its final report from the 2016 forum held on November 17, 2016. The forum is held annually “to provide a platform to highlight perceived unnecessary impediments to small business capital formation.” Each year the SEC’s Office of Small Business Policy (a part of the Division of Corporation Finance) invites federal government agencies, the North American Securities Administrators Association (consisting of state securities, or Blue Sky, regulators), and small business and professional organizations to participate in the forum, and each forum puts forth a list of recommendations to improve the capital formation process for small businesses. Continue Reading
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently released Regulatory Notice 17-18, which contains guidance pertaining to social networking websites and business communications. Continue Reading
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) has issued exemptive relief to commodity trading advisors (CTAs) from the requirement to keep records under CFTC Regulations 4.7(c)(2) and 4.33 at the CTA’s main business office. As provided in the exemptive letter, a CTA may use a third-party recordkeeper so long as the CTA files a notice of claim with the DSIO containing the representations set forth in the exemptive letter. The notice of claim must be filed at the time the CTA registers with the CFTC, delegates its recordkeeping obligations, or June 30, 2017, whichever is later.
CFTC Letter No. 17-24 is available here.
In September 2014, DSIO granted similar relief to commodity pool operators, which is available here.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has added 71 names to its Registration Deficient (RED) List, which identifies foreign entities that illegally solicit US residents to trade binary options and forex. The RED List is available on the CFTC’s website.
More information on the 71 names identified is available here.
On April 18, the European Commission (EC) published a pre-information notice for a pilot project mandated by the European Parliament, consisting of a “Blockchain Observatory and Forum” (Project). A pre-information notice is published prior to a tender for services, which in this case is a service contract for setting up the Observatory. Continue Reading
On April 25, the European Commission (EC) published a speech given by Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (CMU), on the challenges facing EU financial services policy. In the speech, among other things, Mr. Dombrovskis considered the implications for financial services of the UK’s departure from the European Union, Continue Reading
On April 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued No-Action Letter 17-22, which extends relief previously granted under CFTC No-Action Letter 17-05. CFTC No-Action Letter 17-05 allowed certain swap dealers to substitute compliance with the non-centrally cleared OTC derivative margin requirements applicable in the European Union (the “EU Rules”) for compliance with certain of the CFTC’s uncleared swap margin requirements in cross-border transactions with counterparties subject to the EU Rules. The overall CFTC framework for substituted compliance is conditioned in the case of each other jurisdiction on a determination by the CFTC that the rules of the other jurisdiction are “comparable” to the relevant CFTC rules. The effect of the relief was to suspend that condition for the EU. The no-action relief only applied to swap dealers that do not have a prudential regulator (i.e., non-bank swap dealers).
The no-action relief provided pursuant to CFTC No-Action Letter 17-05 is effective until (and excluding) May 8. As the CFTC continues to analyze whether a comparability determination with respect to the EU Rules is appropriate, DSIO is extending the previously granted relief through (and excluding) November 7.
The CFTC’s No-Action letter is available here.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (CME) has submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission a petition for an order pursuant to Section 4d of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) whereby CME and its clearing members that are registered futures commission merchants would be permitted to hold, in accounts segregated in accordance with Section 4d of the CEA, Dubai Mercantile Exchange-listed positions and funds related to products in the energy sector. If granted, the order would expand a previous order pertaining to a more limited number of Dubai Mercantile Exchange energy products. Comments should be submitted electronically to the CFTC on or before April 28.
The CME’s petition is available here.
On April 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had issued an Order of Registration to NEX SEF Limited (NEX) whereby NEX was granted registration status with the CFTC as a swap execution facility (SEF). In granting NEX’s application, the CFTC determined that NEX demonstrated compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations applicable to SEFs. NEX is incorporated in the United Kingdom. There are now 24 SEFs registered with the CFTC.
The CFTC’s registration order is available here.
On April 18, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention for a general election to be held on June 8. The announcement came three weeks after the March 29 submission by the United Kingdom of the “Article 50” notice to begin exit negotiations from the European Union (for further information see the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of March 31, 2017). Continue Reading