On May 3, the Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) published Staff Letter No. 21-13 (Staff Letter), providing CX Clearinghouse, L.P. (CX) with no-action relief from specified Part 39 regulations applicable to derivatives clearing organizations (DCO).
Continue Reading CFTC Issues No-Action Response Letter Providing Relief to DCO From Complying With Specified Part 39 Regulatory Requirements

On March 31, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-21-14 advising member firms that are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as swap dealers (SDs), that NFA rules adopting minimum capital and financial reporting requirements will become effective October 6.

Continue Reading NFA Issues Notice Regarding Effective Date of NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Requirements

On January 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Market Participants Division (MPD) issued Staff Letter 21-02 providing temporary no-action relief to permit futures commission merchants (FCM) to invest customer funds in investments that have adjustable rates of interest that correlate closely with, or are determined solely by reference to, a benchmark of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), recognizing the increasing use of SOFR as an alternative reference rate to LIBOR in financial markets.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Temporary Relief to Futures Commission Merchants Regarding Certain SOFR-Linked Investments

On December 3, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO, and collectively, the Divisions) issued CFTC Letter No. 20-43, an interpretation regarding Sections 2(h)(1) and 2(h)(8) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the CFTC regulations thereunder.
Continue Reading CFTC Interprets and Issues No-action Relief from Certain Clearing and Trade Execution Requirements

On November 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission unanimously approved a final rule (Final Rule) establishing a framework for the CFTC to grant a clearing organization organized outside of the US an exemption from registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) to permit the clearing organization to clear swaps transactions on behalf of certain US persons. Subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Final Rule, the CFTC may grant an exemption from registration if: (1) the CFTC determines that the clearing organization is subject to comparable, comprehensive supervision and regulation by its home country authorities; and (2) the clearing organization agrees that its clearing services on behalf of US persons will be limited to:
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Final Rule for Granting Exemptions From DCO Registration

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

In response to CFTC Letter No. 20-28, the Joint Audit Committee (JAC) has issued Regulatory Alert #20-02 and Regulatory Alert #20-03. As reported in the September 18 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest, CFTC Letter No. 20-28 provided supplemental guidance and no-action relief with respect to CFTC Regulation 1.56 (prohibition of guarantees against loss) compliance and further no-action relief with respect to the treatment of separate accounts by futures commission merchants (FCMs), initially set out in CFTC Letter No. 19-17. Specifically, with regard to compliance with the requirements of CFTC Regulation 1.56(b), Letter No. 20-28 gives FCMs until March 31, 2021 to remove or otherwise negate any limited recourse or similar provisions that may be contained in customer agreements. With regard to compliance with CFTC Rule 39.13(g)(8)(iii), the staff extended the time-limited no-action position from June 30, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
Continue Reading Joint Audit Committee Revises Earlier Regulatory Alerts to Conform to CFTC Letter No. 20-28

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

On July 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted rules (Final Rules) that set minimum financial capital requirements for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants (MSPs) that are not subject to prudential regulation (each, a “Covered Swap Entity” or CSE). The capital requirements were originally proposed in 2016, as explained in more detail here.

The core financial require
Continue Reading CFTC Adopts Final Capital Requirements for Swap Dealers

On June 2, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-20-23 to advise member futures commission merchants (FCMs), forex dealers members (FDMs) and introducing brokers (IBs) that the Joint Audit Committee had recently issued Regulatory Alert #20-01 to remind these registrants of the appropriate net capital treatment of guaranteed obligations and liabilities of subsidiaries or affiliates.
Continue Reading NFA Issues Notice to Members Regarding Obligations Guaranteed by FCMs, FDMs and IBs