On June 9, at the request of the Futures Industry Association, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) announced that they have extended no-action relief that was set to expire on June 30. 
Continue Reading CFTC Extends No-Action Relief to Registrants In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the national market system plan governing the consolidated audit trail (the CAT NMS Plan). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the national securities exchanges that are CAT NMS Plan participants (the Participants) are now required to publish and file with the SEC a

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) amended its Membership Application Program (MAP) rules to incentivize payment of arbitration awards by preventing an individual from switching firms, or a firm from using asset transfers or similar transactions, to avoid payment of arbitration awards. The MAP rules govern the way in which FINRA reviews a new membership application and a continuing membership application; through these applications, applicants show their ability to comply with applicable securities laws and FINRA rules. To address the issue of customer recovery of unpaid arbitration awards, FINRA made the following key changes:
Continue Reading FINRA Amends Rules Related to Membership Application Program to Promote Payment of Arbitration Awards

On May 15, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a regulatory notice (the Notice) reminding firms of their obligations in connection with oil-linked exchange-traded products (ETPs). In light of the practical difficulties involved in investing directly in commodities such as oil, commodity-linked ETPs, which often track commodity futures or futures indices rather than the underlying spot commodity, can provide investors with exposure to such commodities. Due to their complexity, ETPs may not be well understood by investors, as the products may be linked to unfamiliar indices or reference benchmarks. As the crude oil market has recently endured extraordinary conditions, several oil-linked ETPs have experienced significant volatility and lost a substantial percentage of their value.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Regarding Sales Practice Obligations With Respect to Oil-Linked Exchange-Traded Products

National Futures Association (NFA) has provided limited relief to commodity trading advisors (CTAs) who are also registered investment advisers from compliance with certain portions of NFA Rule 2-29 “Communications with the Public and Promotional Material” and a related Interpretive Notice. Generally, CTAs presenting past performance in promotional materials are required to include performance net of all commissions, fees and expenses. With this relief, CTAs who are also registered as investment advisers with the Securities and Exchange Commission may present past performance to eligible contract participants (ECPs) on a gross basis in non-public one-on-one presentations, if the CTA:
Continue Reading NFA Published Amendments to Its Advertising Rules

On April 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published a no-action letter providing guidance for futures commission merchants (FCMs) and introducing brokers (IBs) in connection with calculating the FCM’s or IB’s net capital under CFTC Regulation 1.17. Pursuant to the no-action letter, the CFTC will not bring an enforcement action against an FCM or

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced a competition, called “Project Streetlamp,” which challenges participants to use artificial intelligence or other tools to identify unregistered foreign entities potentially engaging in illegal activity subject to the CFTC’s jurisdiction and automatically add such entities to the CFTC’s Registration Deficient (RED) List. The competition is ongoing and is

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it has issued an Order of Designation to Bitnomial Exchange, LLC (Bitnomial Exchange), granting it status as a designated contract market (DCM), effective April 20, 2020. Located in Chicago, Bitnomial Exchange is a limited liability company formed under Delaware state law. Bitnomial Exchange must comply with all