On June 9, at the request of the Futures Industry Association, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) announced that they have extended no-action relief that was set to expire on June 30. 
Continue Reading CFTC Extends No-Action Relief to Registrants In Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

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

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.
Continue Reading CFTC Grants Market Participants LIBOR-Transition Relief

On August 1, 2019, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a letter extending prior no-action relief, which suspended the need for certain persons otherwise required to aggregate positions to proactively file formal written notice for position limits purposes. The prior relief, CFTC No Action Letter 17-37, was set to expire on August 12, 2019.
Continue Reading CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Extends No-Action Relief from Position Aggregation Requirements

On March 27, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Intelligence Branch in the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a report analyzing the entering of manual and automatic orders in commodity futures markets in the United States to determine how technological change is affecting futures trading. DMO staff used internal CFTC transactional data for 30 futures contracts during the period January 2013 – December 2018, and examined what effect the order placement mechanism had on the respective transaction.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issues Research Report on Impact of Automated Orders in Commodity Futures Markets

On December 21, 2018, the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued Letter 18-33 responding to a request for relief from compliance with certain position aggregation requirements under CFTC Regulation 150.4(b)(2)(i)(D).

CFTC Regulation 150.4(b)(2) provides an owned-entity exemption from aggregation. Any person with an ownership or equity interest in an owned entity of 10 percent or greater generally need not aggregate the accounts or positions of the owned entity with any other account or position such person is required to aggregate, provided that such person and the owned entity meet the conditions (A) through (E) of 150.4(b)(2)(i) (firewall conditions). Subparagraph (D) of the regulation prohibits the sharing of employees that control the trading decisions of either the person or the owned entity.
Continue Reading CFTC Issues No-Action Relief From Certain Position Aggregation Requirements

On February 20, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) published Staff Letter 18-03, which extends the time-limited no-action relief provided in Staff Letter 16-85 for entities submitting swaps for clearing by derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) operating under (1) exemptive orders issued by the CFTC; or (2) no-action relief granted by the CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk (Relief DCOs). (For a complete discussion of the relief provided by Staff Letter 16-85, please refer to the January 6, 2017 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest).
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Time-Limited No-Action Relief for Entities Submitting Swaps for Clearing With Certain DCOs

On December 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a report of the results of its Division of Market Oversight’s (Division) Rule Enforcement Review of the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Commodity Exchange, Inc. and New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (collectively the CME Group).
Continue Reading CFTC Releases Rule Enforcement Review of the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Commodity Exchange, Inc. and New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight (DMO) has issued relief to allow swap execution facilities (SEFs) an additional 30 days to prepare and submit their annual compliance reports and financial reports for the fourth quarter.

As background, CFTC regulations require each SEF to file a financial report within 60 days after the

On September 25, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued Staff Letter No. 17-45 (Staff Letter), which both extends current relief, and provides additional relief, to reporting parties that must comply with the reporting obligations required by the ownership and control reports (OCR) final rule (OCR Final Rule). DMO is providing this relief in response to the compliance challenges reporting parties have encountered with respect to certain OCR reporting obligations.
Continue Reading CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Issues No-Action Letter Providing Reporting Parties With Additional Relief From OCR Final Rule Reporting Obligations