On May 25, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published the 2021 FINRA Industry Spotlight (Industry Spotlight), which is FINRA’s annual statistical report covering the brokerage firms, registered representatives and market activity that FINRA regulates. The 2021 edition includes new statistics on US Treasury volume and corporate financing filings. The Industry Spotlight also includes 2020

On April 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Data, Division of Market Oversight and Division of Clearing and Risk (collectively, the Divisions) issued CFTC Letter No. 21-11, which (1) provides no-action relief to KalshiEX LLC (Kalshi), a designated contract market, and LedgerX, LLC (LedgerX), a derivatives clearing organization, from reporting to swap data repositories data for binary option transactions executed on or subject to the rules of Kalshi and cleared by LedgerX; and (2) exempts Kalshi and LedgerX from certain related recordkeeping requirements.
Continue Reading CFTC Issues Conditional Relief From Reporting Fully Collateralized Binary Option Data to Swap Data Repositories

On March 15, Acting Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Allison Herren Lee made a public statement (Statement) requesting public input from investors, registrants and other market participants regarding climate change disclosures. In light of increased demand for company disclosure regarding climate change risks, impacts and opportunities, Acting Chair Lee has requested SEC staff to evaluate the SEC’s disclosure rules with an emphasis on promoting disclosures that are consistent, comparable and reliable.
Continue Reading Acting SEC Chair Lee Provides Public Statement Welcoming Public Comment on Climate Change Disclosures

On March 11, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published Regulatory Notice 21-10 (Notice), which notifies members that FINRA has updated the form (Filer Form) that must be used to file offering documents and information pursuant to FINRA Rules 5122 (Private Placements of Securities Issued by Members) and 5123 (Private Placements of Securities). FINRA Rule 5122 establishes disclosure and filing requirements for members that sell a private placement of an unregistered security issued by a broker-dealer or a control entity. FINRA Rule 5123 requires members that sell a private placement to file a copy of any offering documents with FINRA within 15 calendar days of the first sale, subject to various exemptions.
Continue Reading FINRA Publishes Updates to Private Placement Filer Form Pursuant to FINRA Rules 5122 and 5123

On January 27, Allison Herren Lee, the acting chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced the European Commission’s (EC) adoption of an equivalence decision, stating that the SEC’s regulatory framework applicable to central counterparties (CCPs) that are “covered clearing agencies” under SEC rules is equivalent to relevant European legal and regulatory requirements.
Continue Reading European Commission Adopts Equivalence Decision With Respect to SEC Regulatory Framework for Central Counterparties

On December 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s innovation office, LabCFTC, released a Digital Assets Primer, which provides the public with updated information about emerging concepts in digital assets. The Digital Assets Primer is intended to build on LabCFTC’s 2017 Primer on Virtual Currencies, which focused on virtual currencies, such as bitcoin. Topics covered by

On December 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight issued CFTC Letter No. 20-45, which extends relief from the trade execution requirement for certain inter-affiliate transactions provided under CFTC Letter No. 17-67 (available here) and prior staff letters. CFTC Letter No. 17-67 provides relief from the trade execution requirement under CFTC Regulation 50.52(a) with regard to swaps that are entered into by eligible affiliate counterparties and cleared, regardless of the affiliates’ ability to claim the inter-affiliate clearing exemption under CFTC Regulation 50.52(b). The no-action relief was set to expire on December 31.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Temporary No-Action Relief From Trade Execution Requirement for Certain Affiliated Counterparties

On November 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a staff letter extending no-action relief to certain CFTC-registered swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs). The no-action relief, which was initially granted in 2013 and subsequently extended several times, was set to expire on December 1.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Temporary Swap Data Reporting Relief for Certain International Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

On November 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-35, which extends temporary no-action relief to swap execution facilities (SEFs) and other market participants originally provided by CFTC Staff Letter No. 17-60. (For additional information regarding CFTC Staff Letter No. 17-60, please refer to the November 17, 2017 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest.) Staff Letter No. 17-60 provided that DMO would not recommend enforcement action against a SEF that has rules and/or procedures that use the SEF’s non-order book trading systems or platforms to facilitate the execution of block trades for swaps that are intended-to-be-cleared, and thus are not compliant with CFTC Regulation 43.2, subject to certain conditions being met.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Relief for SEFs From Certain Block Trade Requirements