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 February 12, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced 2019 Examination Priorities (the “Examination Priorities”) for registrants of the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), and Division of Clearing & Risk (DCR). This marks the first time that the agency has published Examination Priorities for its divisions.
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On December 20, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) and Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued several staff letters related to Eurex Clearing AG (Eurex) for the purpose of (1) authorizing Eurex to clear and settle swaps on behalf of US persons and (2) facilitating such clearing activities on behalf of cleared swaps customers as defined in Part 22 of the CFTC’s regulations. Set forth below is a description of each letter.
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On November 5, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission held an open meeting to consider the following matters relating to swaps and swap execution facilities:

  • Final Rule: Amending the De Minimis Exception to the Swap Dealer Definition
  • Proposed Rule: Amendments to Regulations on Swap Execution Facilities and Trade Execution Requirement
  • Request for Comment Regarding the Practice of “Post-Trade Name Give-Up” on Swap Execution Facilities


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On October 31, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued Letter No. 18-26 to provide continuing relief to a futures commission merchant (FCM) from certain requirements regarding the holding of customer-owned securities as margin for trading on foreign futures and foreign options markets. This letter supersedes CFTC Letter No. 16-88 and was issued to address certain changes in European law with regard to the clearing of positions of clearing members’ indirect clients.
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On August 29, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Division) issued a no-action letter confirming that it will not recommend enforcement action against a futures commission merchant (FCM) if the accountant’s audit opinion included in the FCM’s annual financial report does not include “critical audit matters” (or the absence thereof) as required by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) standards. CFTC regulations generally require accountants engaged in audits of FCMs to register with the PCAOB and to conduct FCM audits in accordance with PCAOB standards. In 2017, the PCAOB adopted AS 3101, which requires an auditor registered with the PCAOB to communicate any critical audit matters in its audit report related to the financial statements of public companies. “Critical audit matters” include matters that are communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and: (1) relate to the accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements; and (2) involve especially challenging, subjective or complex auditor judgment.
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On August 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted amendments to Rule 3.3, which sets out the duties of a chief compliance officer (CCO) of a futures commission merchant, swap dealer and major swap participant (each, a registrant). The amended rules are designed to simplify a CCO’s duties under the rule and to harmonize further

On August 14, the Joint Audit Committee (JAC) released Regulatory Alert #18-04. The Alert, which responds to industry requests, clarifies the procedures that a futures commission merchant (FCM) should follow prior to making an intra-day withdrawal from the residual interest amount that the FCM maintains in its segregated, secured 30.7 and cleared swap customer accounts (Accounts) in order to ensure compliance with applicable Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations.
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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 June 15, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed amendments to NFA Compliance Rule 2-9(c) and the NFA Interpretive Notice entitled Compliance Rule 2-9: FCM and IB Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Program (collectively, the Amendments). Rule 2-9(c) requires futures commission merchants (FCMs) and introducing brokers (IBs) to develop and implement anti-money laundering programs designed to achieve compliance with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act.

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