On September 11, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) had issued CFTC Letter No. 20-26, further extending certain elements of the temporary no-action relief issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire on September 30. The extended relief expires on January 15, 2021.

DSIO and DMO initially granted temporary relief on March 17 to a broad spectrum of market participants to support orderly trading and liquidity as they implemented social distancing measures during the pandemic. Subject to the conditions stated in the no-action letter, the relief provided is as follows:

  • DSIO is extending targeted no-action relief for affected firms from CFTC regulations requiring registrants to record oral communications related to voice trading and other telephonic communications, as well as time-stamping requirements when located in remote, socially-distanced locations.
  • DMO is extending targeted no-action relief for swap execution facilities and designated contract markets from certain CFTC regulations regarding audit trails, recording of oral communications and related requirements as a result of the displacement of trading personnel from their normal business sites.

In a press release announcing the issuance of the no-action letter, the directors of DSIO and DMO stated that they understood that the current extension would provide registrants with “time to complete the final steps necessary to come into full compliance with CFTC regulations, such as those related to voice recordings and time-stamps” and emphasized that that the “bar for DSIO and DMO granting a third extension will be quite high.”

A copy of the CFTC’s release with a link to the CFTC Letter No. 20-26 is available here