On March 17, Acting Chairman Rostin Benham of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that he has created a new Climate Risk Unit (CRU) to focus on the role of derivatives in mitigating climate-related risks and helping the economy transition to lower carbon usage. The CRU includes staff from across the CFTC’s various divisions and officers and represents the next step in years of climate leadership for the CFTC (including last year’s publication of the Market Risk Advisory Committee’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee’s report on Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System).
Continue Reading CFTC Acting Chairman Announces New Climate Risk Unit

On March 11, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to announce that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has updated its list of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies.
Continue Reading NFA Publishes Series of Member Notices Related to Common Deficiencies and Other Regulatory Matters

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that its Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC) will hold a meeting on March 11 at 9:00 a.m. (ET). At this meeting, the GMAC will hear presentations and provide dialogue on matters related to retail participation in the derivatives markets.
Continue Reading CFTC Announces Global Markets Advisory Committee Meeting

On February 8, the National Futures Association (NFA) released three Notices to Member that cover educational resources, common regulatory and compliance deficiencies, and recent amendments to NFA Rules and Interpretative notices, each aimed at a different audience, as indicated below.
Continue Reading NFA Publishes Series of Member Notices Related to Common Deficiencies and Other Regulatory Matters

On January 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division (MPD) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 21-04 and Letter No. 21-05 (the Staff Letters) to extend, for a limited time, parts of the temporary no-action relief granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which expired on January 15.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Limited Continuation of Certain No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

On January 19, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members 1-21-03, announcing that remote online testing is now available for futures industry proficiency. The exams include Series 3, Series 30, Series 31, Series 32 and Series 34, which FINRA administers on behalf of NFA. Tests also may continue to be taken at a local test center. The availability of remote online testing has not affected NFA’s Swaps Proficiency Requirements.

Continue Reading Remote Online Testing Available for Candidates Seeking to Take Futures Industry Proficiency Examinations

On January 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division determined that the National Futures Association’s (NFA) swap dealer capital model requirements and review program are comparable with the CFTC’s swap dealer capital model requirements and review program. As a result, a capital model approved by NFA will be accepted as an alternative means of compliance with CFTC Regulation 23.102.
Continue Reading CFTC Approves NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Model Review Program

On January 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Market Participants Division (MPD) issued Staff Letter 21-02 providing temporary no-action relief to permit futures commission merchants (FCM) to invest customer funds in investments that have adjustable rates of interest that correlate closely with, or are determined solely by reference to, a benchmark of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), recognizing the increasing use of SOFR as an alternative reference rate to LIBOR in financial markets.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Temporary Relief to Futures Commission Merchants Regarding Certain SOFR-Linked Investments