On July 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) announced that it has extended the time period for the no-action relief provided in CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-16 to registrants listing new principals and to applicants for registration as associated persons (APs) from the requirement to submit a fingerprint card.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Relief on Fingerprinting Due to COVID-19

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 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.
Continue Reading CFTC Provides Relief to Certain Foreign Affiliates of FCMs in Response to COVID-19

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 July 8, the staff of the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a report containing data and analysis concerning possible exclusions from the calculation of the swap dealer de minimis registration threshold for swaps executed on a regulated exchange and/or cleared by a derivatives clearing organization.
Continue Reading CFTC Report Concerning On-Venue and Cleared Swaps

On June 27, 2019, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a no-action relief (No Action Letter) for registered floor traders from compliance with certain conditions of a CFTC regulation related to the de minimis exception to the swap dealer definition.

Under paragraph (6)(iv) of the swap dealer definition in CFTC regulation 1.3, a registered floor trader does not need to consider cleared swaps executed on or subject to the rules of a designated contract market (DCM) or swap execution facility (SEF Cleared Swaps) when determining whether it is a swap dealer, provided certain conditions are satisfied. The No Action Letter clarifies that the exemption is available even if the registered floor trader: (1) enters into swaps other than DCM and SEF Cleared Swaps; and (2) directly, or through an affiliated person, negotiates the terms of those other swaps. The No Action Letter also removes the condition that a registered floor trader must submit periodic risk reports as required by CFTC regulation 23.600(c)(2).


Continue Reading CFTC Staff Issues No-Action Relief for Floor Traders Engaged in Swaps Activity

On June 6, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued no action letter 19-13 to permit swap dealers and their counterparties to make certain changes to current swaps without subjecting the swaps to the CFTC swap margin rule. The need for the relief stems from the anti-avoidance position taken by the CFTC when the swap margin rule was enacted that any change made after the margin rule compliance date applicable to swap dealer and its counterparty to an uncleared swap (a Legacy Swap) in existence on the compliance date will cause the Legacy Swap to be brought into scope for margin.

Continue Reading CFTC Issues Margin Relief for Changes to Legacy Swaps

The Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued no-action relief to swap dealers (SDs) for certain swaps with prime brokerage customers where the customer initiates the swap by executing a trade as agent for the SD on a swap execution facility (SEF).
Continue Reading CFTC Issues No-Action Relief for Prime Brokerage Trading on SEFs