On May 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced the creation of LabCFTC, a new initiative aimed at promoting responsible FinTech innovation to improve the quality, resiliency, and competitiveness of the markets the CFTC oversees. The core components of LabCFTC are: (1) GuidePoint, which will serve as a dedicated point of contact for FinTech innovators to engage with the CFTC, learn about the CFTC’s regulatory framework, and obtain feedback and information on the implementation of innovative technology ideas for the market; and (2) CFTC 2.0, an initiative to foster and help initiate the adoption of new technology within the CFTC through collaboration with FinTech industry and CFTC market participants.
Continue Reading CFTC Launches LabCFTC as Major FinTech Initiative

On May 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) issued No-Action Letter 17-26, which extends relief previously granted to the Shanghai Clearing House under CFTC No-Action Letter 16-56. CFTC No-Action Letter 16-56 is effective until (and excluding) May 31.
Continue Reading CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk Extends No-Action Relief for Shanghai Clearing House

In February, pursuant to Regulation NMS, the various national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (each, a Participant) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a plan (Plan) to create, implement and maintain a consolidated audit trail (CAT) to capture information related to customers and order events for transactions in NMS securities and over-the-counter equity securities. The CAT will capture order information across all markets and throughout the life of an order (from inception to execution).
Continue Reading FINRA Proposed Rule Change to the Consolidated Audit Trail

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that it will collect a total of $8,309,000 in 2017 from its member firms as part of the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Accounting Support Fee. FINRA will collect $2,077,250 each calendar quarter beginning in April 2017 from its member firms that report trades to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). Each member firm’s fee assessment is based on that firm’s portion of the total par value of municipal securities transactions reported by all FINRA member firms to the MSRB in the previous quarter.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice on GASB Accounting Support Fee

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority recently released a document outlining updates to the TRACE Web Application Programming Interface (API). This new update, Version 5.0, affects only securitized products. As mentioned in the FINRA Regulatory Notice, effective May 16, 2011, securitized products include asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities and other similar securities. The document provides the new securitized products Sub Product Asset Codes and their descriptions.
Continue Reading FINRA Updates Web API Specifications for the TRACE Securitized Products

On January 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an order authorizing LCH.Clearnet Limited (LCH), a CFTC-registered derivatives clearing organization (DCO), and its clearing members that are registered futures commission merchants to: (1) commingle in a cleared swaps customer account customer money, securities and property used to margin, secure or guarantee both futures and foreign

On January 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved for publication in the Federal Register proposed amendments to Part 49 of the CFTC’s regulations relating to access to swap data held by Swap Data Repositories (SDR). Among other revisions, the proposal: (1) eliminates the requirement that foreign and domestic authorities seeking access to SDR swap data first indemnify the CFTC and each SDR from which such authorities access swap data; (2) permits, subject to satisfying certain conditions, domestic regulators to access SDR swap data by entering into confidentiality arrangements with the CFTC, and other domestic authorities, and all foreign authorities to receive such swap data after being deemed “appropriate” by the CFTC.
Continue Reading CFTC Proposes to Amend Access to Swap Data Requirements

On January 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Division of Enforcement (“Division”) issued two new Enforcement Advisories outlining the factors the Division will consider in evaluating cooperation by individuals and companies in the Division’s investigations and enforcement actions. The advisory regarding companies updates an advisory last issued in 2007; the advisory regarding individuals is new.