Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

James M. Brady

Subscribe to all posts by James M. Brady

CFTC Clarifies That Variation Margin Constitutes Settlement

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an interpretive letter clarifying that payments of variation margin, price alignment amounts and other payments in satisfaction of outstanding exposures on a counterparty’s cleared swap positions constitute “settlement” under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulation 39.14. The CEA… Continue Reading

CFTC Conducts DCO Liquidity Stress Tests

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued a report summarizing stress tests conducted by three derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs): the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), ICE Clear US (ICUS) and LCH Ltd (LCH). During the stress tests, DCR evaluated whether each DCO could obtain, in a timely manner,… Continue Reading

CFTC Issues Primer on Cryptocurrencies

Posted in CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s LabCFTC has issued a primer on cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. The primer is the first in a series that is intended to provide the public with educational information on financial technology innovation. In the primer, LabCFTC highlights various risks inherent in cryptocurrencies, including operational risks, cybersecurity risks, speculative risks… Continue Reading

CFTC Grants DCO Registration to LedgerX

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an order granting LedgerX LLC registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). As specified in the order, LedgerX is permitted to clear fully collateralized digital currency swaps. A transaction will be fully collateralized if LedgerX holds, at all times, funds in the form of the required payment sufficient… Continue Reading

CFTC Extends Relief From Transaction-Level Requirements for Non-US Swap Dealers

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, the Division of Clearing and Risk and the Division of Market Oversight (collectively, the Divisions) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have extended relief previously provided in a series of previous no-action letters relating to transaction-level requirements for non-US swap dealers (non-US SDs). Specifically, the Divisions have… Continue Reading

NFA Adopts Interpretive Notice on Swap Valuation Disputes

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
National Futures Association (NFA) has adopted an interpretive notice that standardizes the process for filing swap valuation disputes with NFA. As set forth in the interpretive notice, swap dealers (SDs) generally are required to file with NFA notices of unresolved swap valuation disputes involving initial margin, variation margin and/or transaction or portfolio valuations if the… Continue Reading

NFA Adopts 4s Attestation Process for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
National Futures Association (NFA) has revised the process by which each swap dealer (SD) and major swap participant (MSP) applicant demonstrates its ability to comply with Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations implementing Section 4s of the Commodity Exchange Act (4s Regulations), including but not limited to regulations relating to capital and margin requirements, reporting and… Continue Reading

CFTC Grants SEF Registration to LedgerX

Posted in CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued an order of registration as a swap execution facility (SEF) to LedgerX LLC. As an SEF, LedgerX intends to list options on Bitcoin and other swaps based on digital currencies. As noted in the order, LedgerX additionally has applied for registration as a derivatives clearing organization. More information… Continue Reading

CFTC Extends Relief to CTAs With Third-Party Recordkeepers

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) has issued exemptive relief to commodity trading advisors (CTAs) from the requirement to keep records under CFTC Regulations 4.7(c)(2) and 4.33 at the CTA’s main business office. As provided in the exemptive letter, a CTA may use a third-party recordkeeper so long… Continue Reading

SEC Adopts Amendment to Shorten Settlement Cycle for Securities Transactions

Posted in Broker-Dealer, SEC/Corporate
On March 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted an amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) that shortens the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer securities transactions from three business days (known as T+3) to two business days (or T+2). Specifically, the rule, as amended, would prohibit a broker-dealer from entering into a contract for or effecting… Continue Reading

FINRA Seeks Comment on Engagement Programs

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued a notice requesting public comment on how to improve industry and public engagement. The notice focuses on various engagement processes and programs, including advisory, ad hoc and district committees, FINRA’s rulemaking process, member relations programs, education and compliance programs and reporting on FINRA operations. The notice is part… Continue Reading

SEC Simplifies Process for Electronically Filing Broker-Dealer Annual Reports

Posted in Broker-Dealer, Derivatives
The Division of Trading and Markets (Division) of the Securities and Exchange Commission has updated its no-action relief to broker-dealers and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives dealers from the requirement to file annual and supplemental reports with the SEC in paper form. The Division had previously issued a no-action letter in December 2015 that provided relief to… Continue Reading

FINRA and ISG Update Electronic Blue Sheet Data Elements

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the US members of the Intermarket Surveillance Group (ISG) have updated various data elements for Electronic Blue Sheet (EBS) to include codes for the MIAX Pearl. The FINRA and ISG also have updated the data elements for EBS to include transaction type identifiers for each of “non-program trading,… Continue Reading

MSRB Revises Customer Complaint and Related Recordkeeping Rules

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB’s) revisions to its customer complaint and related recordkeeping rules. The MSRB has modernized the rules and extended their application to municipal advisors as follows: The MSRB extended its customer complaint recordkeeping requirements to all municipal advisors, including non-solicitor and solicitor municipal advisors.… Continue Reading

FINRA Interprets “As Soon As Practicable” Requirement Under Trade Reporting Rules

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued a notice clarifying the “as soon as practicable” requirement under FINRA reporting rules for transactions effected over-the-counter (OTC). As background, FINRA rules provide that OTC trades in national market system (NMS) securities that are executed during the hours that a FINRA trade reporting facility is open must be… Continue Reading

CFTC Amends Filing Requirements for FCM and SD CCO Annual Reports

Posted in CFTC
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has approved a final rule that amends certain filing requirements for futures commission merchant (FCM) and swap dealer (SD) chief compliance officer (CCO) annual reports. Most notably, the CFTC extended the filing deadline to 90 days after the registrant’s fiscal year-end. (The previous filing deadline had been 60 days after… Continue Reading

NFA Increased the Required Minimum Security Deposit for Forex Transactions

Posted in CFTC
National Futures Association (NFA) has increased the minimum security deposit that forex dealer members must collect and maintain for currency pairs involving the British pound to 5 percent. (The previous minimum security deposit for currency pairs involving the British pound was 2 percent). The increase went into effect on November 7.… Continue Reading

SEC Approves FINRA’s Capital Acquisition Broker Rules

Posted in Broker-Dealer, Derivatives
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s new rules governing firms that meet the definition of “capital acquisition broker” (CAB) and elect to be governed by the new CAB rules. (The Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of January 8, 2016 summarized FINRA’s proposed CAB rules.)… Continue Reading

SEC Approves FINRA’s TRACE Amendments for CMO Transactions

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s amendments to its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) rules to provide for dissemination of transactions in collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs), and to reduce the reporting time for CMO transactions. Specifically, FINRA will disseminate trade-by-trade information relative to CMO transactions valued under $1… Continue Reading

SEC Approves FINRA’s TRACE Amendments for US Treasury Securities

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s amendments to its Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) rules to provide for reporting of transactions in “US Treasury securities,” which includes all securities issued by the US Treasury Department, with the exception of savings bonds. As a consequence, the TRACE reporting requirements… Continue Reading