On November 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a staff letter extending no-action relief to certain CFTC-registered swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs). The no-action relief, which was initially granted in 2013 and subsequently extended several times, was set to expire on December 1.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Temporary Swap Data Reporting Relief for Certain International Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

On November 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-35, which extends temporary no-action relief to swap execution facilities (SEFs) and other market participants originally provided by CFTC Staff Letter No. 17-60. (For additional information regarding CFTC Staff Letter No. 17-60, please refer to the November 17, 2017 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.) Staff Letter No. 17-60 provided that DMO would not recommend enforcement action against a SEF that has rules and/or procedures that use the SEF’s non-order book trading systems or platforms to facilitate the execution of block trades for swaps that are intended-to-be-cleared, and thus are not compliant with CFTC Regulation 43.2, subject to certain conditions being met.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Relief for SEFs From Certain Block Trade Requirements

On November 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-36, which extends no-action relief to swap execution facilities (SEFs) from the requirement to capture post-execution allocation information in their audit trail data.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends No-Action Relief to SEFs From Certain Audit Trail Requirements Related to Post-Execution Allocation Information

On November 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission unanimously approved a final rule (Final Rule) establishing a framework for the CFTC to grant a clearing organization organized outside of the US an exemption from registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) to permit the clearing organization to clear swaps transactions on behalf of certain US persons. Subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Final Rule, the CFTC may grant an exemption from registration if: (1) the CFTC determines that the clearing organization is subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation by its home country authorities; and (2) the clearing organization agrees that its clearing services on behalf of US persons will be limited to:
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Final Rule for Granting Exemptions From DCO Registration

On November 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved a final rule (Final Rule) amending CFTC regulations relating to the execution of “package transactions” on swap execution facilities (SEFs) and the resolution of error trades on SEFs.
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Final Rule Amending SEF Requirements

On October 23, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) published two important documents that give swap market participants a convenient way to modify their swap agreements to account for the expected discontinuation of the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other interbank offered rates (collectively, IBORs). The two documents are the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement to the 2006 ISDA Definitions (Supplement) and the 2020 IBOR Fallbacks Protocol (Protocol). The effective date for both the Supplement and the Protocol is January 25, 2021.
Continue Reading ISDA Publishes IBOR Fall Back Supplement and Related Protocol

On October 27, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a press release announcing it had added UK venues to the list of third-country venues in respect of the opinions on post-trade transparency and position limits under Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR) and the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) (the Press Release).
Continue Reading ESMA Adds UK Venues to Third-Country Trading Venues Under MiFIR and MiFID II

On October 21, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an advisory to futures commission merchants (FCMs) regarding the holding of virtual currency in segregated accounts. The advisory, Letter No. 20-34, provides guidance to FCMs on how to hold and report certain deposited virtual currency from customers in connection with physically delivered futures contracts or swaps and how to maintain appropriate risk management programs concerning the acceptance of virtual currencies as customer funds.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issues Advisory on Virtual Currency for Futures Commission Merchants

On October 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Bank of England (BoE) announced that they had signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the cooperation and exchange of information to preserve the benefits of cross-border clearing activity. The MOU emphasizes the importance of supervision of central counterparties (CCPs) and clarifies that the