On December 18, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) and the Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) each issued a no-action letter providing relief to market participants in preparation for the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other interbank offered rates (collectively with LIBOR, IBORs). The letters identify the terms and conditions pursuant to which counterparties may be eligible for relief in connection with amending swaps to replace provisions referencing discontinued IBORs with alternative benchmarks.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has published for comment two proposals intended to reduce the regulatory obligations that certain non-US clearing organizations would otherwise be subject. In accordance with section 5b(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), it is unlawful for any clearing organization to clear swaps on behalf of US persons unless that clearing organization is registered with the CFTC as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). However, CEA section 5b(h) authorizes the CFTC to exempt from registration any non-US clearing organization that is “subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation” by its home country regulator. In the exercise of this latter authority, the CFTC has proposed to permit those non-US clearing organizations that the CFTC determines do not pose a substantial risk to the US financial system to elect either 1) registration as a DCO with alternative compliance obligations; or 2) an exemption from registration altogether.
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On June 25, 2019, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had approved the application of LedgerX LLC (LedgerX) for designation as a contract market under Section 5 of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and Part 38 of the CFTC’s regulations. LedgerX has been registered with the CFTC as a swap execution facility and

On March 6, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement issued an Enforcement Advisory regarding self-reporting and cooperation for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) involving foreign corrupt practices. Providing further guidance regarding the Enforcement Division’s cooperation and self-reporting program, the Advisory notes that the Enforcement Division will apply a presumption that it

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is requesting public comment on a rule amendment certification filing by ICE Futures U.S., Inc. (IFUS). As described in the certification, the proposed amendment to IFUS Rule 4.26 would allow for the implementation of Passive Order Protection (POP) Functionality, which is intended to reduce latency advantages between traders engaged in arbitrage strategies against related markets. The POP Functionality proposed by the certification would be implemented in the daily gold and silver futures markets.
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On November 5, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission held an open meeting to consider the following matters relating to swaps and swap execution facilities:

  • Final Rule: Amending the De Minimis Exception to the Swap Dealer Definition
  • Proposed Rule: Amendments to Regulations on Swap Execution Facilities and Trade Execution Requirement
  • Request for Comment Regarding the Practice of “Post-Trade Name Give-Up” on Swap Execution Facilities

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On December 8, in response to a request by the European Commission (EC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an order exempting certain multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) and organized trading facilities (OTFs) authorized within the European Union (EU) from the requirement to register with the CFTC as swap execution facilities (SEFs).
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On December 12, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission requested comment on a proposed exemptive order, pursuant to Section 4(c) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), which would grant ICE Clear Credit, ICE Clear US and ICE Clear Europe (ICE DCOs) limited exemptions from Section 4d of the CEA and CFTC Rule 1.25. Subject to the

On October 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight extended no-action relief for certain swaps executed as part of packaged transactions. Transactions where at least one swap is subject to a trade execution requirement and either (1) at least one individual component is a bond issued and sold in the primary market or (2) all other components are futures contracts, are provided relief from the following requirements:

  • Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) Section 2(h)(8) (providing relief from the requirement that the swap components of the transaction subject to the trade execution requirement be executed on a swap execution facility (SEF) or designated contract market (DCM));
  • CFTC Regulation 37.9 and CEA Section 5(d) (allowing an SEF or DCM to offer any method of execution for swap components); and
  • CFTC Regulation 37.3(a)(2) (permitting SEFs to not offer an order book as a minimum trading functionality for swap components).

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On October 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight extended no-action relief to swap execution facilities (SEFs) from the requirement to capture post-execution allocation information in their audit trail data. To rely on the no-action relief, SEFs must (1) have a rule requiring market participations to provide post-execution allocation information upon request