On October 21, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an advisory to futures commission merchants (FCMs) regarding the holding of virtual currency in segregated accounts. The advisory, Letter No. 20-34, provides guidance to FCMs on how to hold and report certain deposited virtual currency from customers in connection with physically delivered futures contracts or swaps and how to maintain appropriate risk management programs concerning the acceptance of virtual currencies as customer funds.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issues Advisory on Virtual Currency for Futures Commission Merchants

On October 13, the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued two no-action letters that provide limited relief from swap transaction and pricing data reporting requirements for specific derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) and market participants that take part in upcoming DCO auctions intended to assist in transitioning certain cleared swaps

On September 15, the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) and Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued CFTC Letter No. 20-28, providing supplemental guidance and further no-action relief with respect to the treatment of separate accounts by futures commission merchants (FCMs). Initial guidance and relief was set out in CFTC Letter No. 19-17, which was issued in July 2019.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issue Supplemental Advisory and Time-Limited No-Action Relief on Treatment of Separate Accounts by FCMs

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold an open meeting on September 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, to consider adopting several final rules, including with respect to:

  1. registration with alternative compliance for non-US derivative clearing organizations;
  2. amendments to real-time public reporting requirements under the CFTC’s Part 43 rules;
  3. amendments to swap data recordkeeping and reporting requirements under the CFTC’s Part 45 rules; and
  4. amendments to the CFTC’s regulations relating to certain swap data repository and data reporting requirements.

Continue Reading CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on September 17

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Divisions of Market Oversight (DMO), Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), and Clearing and Risk (DCR) (together, the Divisions) issued CFTC Letter 20-17 to remind Designated Contract Markets (DCMs), Futures Commission Merchants (FCMs) and Derivatives Clearing Organizations (DCOs) of their obligations to prepare for extreme market volatility, low liquidity and possibly negative pricing for certain contracts. The Divisions issued the advisory in light of unusually high volatility and negative pricing experienced in the May 2020 West Texas Intermediate (WTI), Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures contract on April 20 (the penultimate day of trading and expiration of the contract), although the guidance also applies to trading in other commodities.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issues Advisory Addressing Current Market Conditions

At the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) open meeting on April 14, the CFTC unanimously approved proposed amendments to Part 190 of its rules governing bankruptcy proceedings of commodity brokers, including futures commission merchants (FCMs) and derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs). The proposed amendments are intended to comprehensively update Part 190 to reflect current market practices. Among other revisions, the proposed amendments to Part 190 would:
Continue Reading CFTC Approves Proposed Amendments to Its Bankruptcy Rules

On February 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved two proposed rules to revise its regulations relating to swap data reporting, dissemination and public reporting requirements for market participants.
Continue Reading CFTC Approves Revisions to Swap Data Reporting, Dissemination and Public Reporting Requirements for Market Participants

On September 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the extension of the public comment periods for two rule proposals. First, the CFTC announced that it will extend the comment period from September 17 to November 18 for the proposed alternative compliance framework for derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) organized outside of the United States that do not pose substantial risk to the US financial system (Alternative Compliance Framework Proposal). Under the Alternative Compliance Framework Proposal, these DCOs would be able to register with the CFTC, yet comply with the core principles applicable to DCOs in the Commodity Exchange Act through their compliance with the regulatory regime of their home country, subject to certain conditions and limitations.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Public Comment Period for Proposed Rules Pertaining to Cross-Border Clearing

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.
Continue Reading CFTC Proposes Amendments to Reduce Regulatory Obligations on Certain Non-US Clearing Organizations