On March 31, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued Staff Letter No. 20-12 (Letter), announcing temporary no-action relief (Relief) that allows certain non-US entities, that are exempt from registration with the CFTC as introducing brokers pursuant to CFTC Regulation 30.5 (Foreign Brokers), and which are affiliates of futures commission merchants (FCMs) registered with the CFTC, to handle US order flow under certain conditions.
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On January 21, the Securities and Exchange Commission published in the Federal Register a release (Release) regarding Cboe Exchange, Inc. rule changes. The Release indicates that SEC must approve or disapprove Cboe rule changes regarding off-floor position transfers (Proposed Rule) by March 19. The SEC moved the original January 19 deadline to March 19 in

On November 25, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets issued guidance intended to facilitate certain substituted compliance applications submitted by non-US security-based swap dealers and/or major security-based swap participants (Guidance). 
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) previously announced an expansion to its ongoing transparency initiative for the over-the-counter (OTC) equity market. This expansion entails FINRA publishing new data about OTC trading volume occurring outside of alternative trading systems (ATSs).

As of December 2, FINRA began publishing the following types of data: 1) monthly aggregate block-size trading data for OTC trades in National Market System (NMS) stocks executed outside an ATS, on a one-month delayed basis; and 2) aggregate non-ATS volume for each member firm (by eliminating the de minimis exception for member firms executing fewer than, on average, 200 non-ATS transactions per day during an applicable reporting period).
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On November 5, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved Foreign Board of Trade (FBOT) registration applications for three non-US exchanges to allow their members and other US participants to enter orders directly into their respective trade matching systems. The FBOTs receiving such approvals were: 1) Euronext Amsterdam N.V.; 2) Euronext Paris SA; and 3) the European Energy Exchange of Germany, bringing the total number of FBOTs registered with the CFTC to 21.
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On November 1, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members I-19-22, announcing that NFA’s Swap Proficiency Requirements would launch and become accessible online on January 31, 2020 (Swap Proficiency Requirements). Each NFA Member with associated persons required to take the Swap Proficiency Requirements must designate at least one Swaps Proficiency Requirements Administrator who

On October 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed an amendment to Regulation NMS that would rescind a rule exception that allows a national market system plan (NMS Plan) amendment to be effective upon filing if it establishes or changes a fee or other charge (Proposal).
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On October 8, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced the availability of new resources to assist member forms to comply with the Securities Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and Form CRS by the June 30, 2020 compliance deadline. Reg BI establishes a “best interest” standard of conduct for broker-dealers and associated persons when making recommendations to a retail customer in connection with a securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities. In addition to the Reg BI requirements, the SEC also adopted a new rule to require broker-dealers and investment advisers to provide retail investors with a brief relationship summary known as the Form CRS.

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On September 9, the Market Risk Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved some “plain” English disclosures concerning the risks of executing new derivative transactions involving interbank offered rates (IBORs) that will be replaced by new benchmark rates in the relatively near future. The disclosures, which are not mandatory, are intended as “helpful examples” of the information that market participants should share, as appropriate, with all clients and counterparties with whom they continue to transact derivatives referencing London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other IBORs. They are drafted for use on a transaction-by-transaction basis, but alternatively can be delivered as part of general risk disclosures. The disclosures will be submitted to the CFTC for consideration.
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