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 1, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a favorable business review letter to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) that clears the way for ISDA to complete its work on developing standard amendments to swap documents to account for the discontinuation of LIBOR and other interbank offered rates (collectively, IBORs).
Continue Reading ISDA Efforts to Help Markets Deal With LIBOR Replacement Clear DOJ Hurdle

On July 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted rules (Final Rules) that set minimum financial capital requirements for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs) that are not subject to prudential regulation (each, a “Covered Swap Entity” or CSE). The capital requirements were originally proposed in 2016, as explained in more detail here.

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Continue Reading CFTC Adopts Final Capital Requirements for Swap Dealers

At an open meeting on July 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission heard presentations on three proposals for changes to the margin requirements for uncleared swaps. The proposed changes, which originate from recommendations made by the Margin Subcommittee of the CFTC Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC), are as follows:
Continue Reading CFTC Proposes Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps

On July 8, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-20-27 to remind member firms that the compliance date for NFA’s Swaps Proficiency Requirements (Requirements) is January 31, 2021 (Compliance Date). NFA Members with associated persons (AP) required to satisfy the Requirements must ensure that covered individuals are in compliance by the Compliance Date. Individuals who do not satisfy the Requirements by the Compliance Date will be unable to engage in swaps activities until they have done so.
Continue Reading NFA Issues Notice to Members Regarding Compliance Date for Swaps Proficiency Requirement

On June 30, the Alternate Reference Rate Committee (ARRC) that works under the auspices of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published another document to assist capital markets participants in their transition away from use of LIBOR as a transactional interest rate.
Continue Reading ARRC Publishes Additional LIBOR Replacement Materials

On June 25, the five prudential regulators responsible for the margin rules for bank swap dealers (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency) adopted one final rule and one interim final rule that modify their original framework for margining uncleared swaps.
Continue Reading Prudential Regulators Revise Initial Margin Rules for Uncleared Swaps

On June 25, the five regulators responsible for Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (Volcker Rule) approved a set of amendments that modify and clarify the covered fund provisions of the regulations implementing the Volcker Rule. (The five regulators are the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.) The final amendments are generally the same as those proposed in January of this year.
Continue Reading Volcker Rule Regulators Make Changes to Covered Fund Rules

On May, 27, the Alternate Reference Rate Committee (ARRC) that works under the auspices of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a set of “Best Practices for Completing Transition Away from LIBOR.” The Best Practices reinforce the ARRC’s position that markets should cease using the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a reference rate in financial transactions well before the December 31, 2021 end date identified by UK regulators by providing specific dates by which specific products should be LIBOR-free.
Continue Reading LIBOR Transition Best Practices Statement Issued by ARRC

On May 22, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an open invitation for member firms and other interested parties to provide views and information about the security-based swap (SBS) market, with particular focus on broker-dealer SBS activities and the application of FINRA rules to those activities. The invitation, which is not a mandatory information request, includes the following questions:
Continue Reading FINRA Requests Comments on Security-Based Swaps