On May 21, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed amendments to NFA Bylaw 1301 regarding the schedule of dues and assessments for swaps firms. NFA Bylaw 1301 imposes dues and assessments on futures commission merchants (FCM) (for which NFA is the designated self-regulatory organization (DSRO)), introducing brokers (IB), commodity pool operators (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) Members that are approved swaps firms under Bylaw 301(l).
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On March 5, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed amendments to NFA Bylaw 301 and Compliance Rule 2-24. The proposed changes to NFA Bylaw 301(l) are intended to specify that any individual applying for approval as a futures commission merchant (FCM), introducing broker (IB), commodity pool operator (CPO) or commodity trading advisor (CTA) member swap firm or swap associated person of an FCM, IB, CPO or CTA must take and pass the NFA’s Swap Proficiency Requirements to be granted approval as a swap firm or swap associated person (AP). In connection with this change, the NFA also proposed amendments to Compliance Rule 2-24 which, among other changes, would prohibit an FCM, IB, CPO or CTA member from having associated with it an individual engaged in CFTC regulated swap activities, unless such individual has satisfied the aforementioned requirements.
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On October 9, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved proposed rules intended to simplify regulations for commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) generally by codifying existing staff advisory and no-action letter relief and streamlining registration requirements for CPOs that operate in multiple jurisdictions.
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On August 9, the National Futures Association (NFA) announced the effective date of its recently adopted Interpretive Notice, Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities. The Interpretative Notice will go into effect on October 31 (“Effective Date”).
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On March 27, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-18-07, reminding commodity pool operators (CPOs), commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and introducing brokers (IBs) to immediately notify NFA by amending the firm-level section of their respective annual questionnaires if they trade any virtual currency products or solicit or accept any order in virtual currency products, as applicable. (See notice I-17-28 and I-17-29, as reported in the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of January 12, 2018.)
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On December 14, 2017, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notices regarding commodity pool operators (CPOs), commodity trading advisors (CTAs) and introducing brokers (IBs), outlining new reporting requirements for CPOs, CTAs and IBs that deal in virtual currencies.
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On December 11, at the request of the Futures Industry Association (FIA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Division) issued an interpretive letter regarding the “solely incidental” exclusion from registration as a commodity trading advisor (CTA). Under the relevant provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC rules, a futures commission merchant (FCM), swap dealer (SD) or introducing broker (IB) that provides commodity trading advice is required to be registered separately as a CTA unless such advice is “solely incidental” to the conduct of such registrant’s business as an FCM or SD (or “solely in connection with” such registrant’s business as an IB).
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On September 13, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO or Division) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) granted no-action relief from commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) registration to a private university, subject to certain conditions. At issue was (1) the university’s collective management of an endowment fund that includes the funds of multiple organizations affiliated with the university (Affiliated Organizations); and (2) the offering, solicitation and operation of multiple planned giving arrangements for donors to the university, which generally provided for a periodic income stream to identified beneficiaries for a specified period of time before the donation reverted wholly to the university’s benefit (Planned Giving Accounts).
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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

As part of a global regulatory initiative, the United States, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia have all adopted, or are in the process of adopting, rules (Margin Rules) that impose mandatory variation margin requirements on non-cleared swaps and, in some cases, non-cleared security-based swaps and FX derivatives (collectively, “Covered Trades”). Starting March 1, any entity that is a financial end user (FEU) will only be able to execute a Covered Trade with a US swap dealer if it has amended its swap documentation to comply with the requirements applicable to the dealer under the Margin Rules.
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