On July 2, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 20-22 (the Notice) announcing updates to its interpretations regarding (1) FINRA Rule 4210(e)(8), which specifies margin requirements for control and restricted securities, and (2) FINRA Rule 4210(f)(5), which specifies conditions for the consolidation of two or more accounts carried for the same customer.
Continue Reading FINRA Announces Updates to Interpretations of Margin Rule Regarding Control and Restricted Securities and Consolidation of Accounts

On June 25, the five prudential regulators responsible for the margin rules for bank swap dealers (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency) adopted one final rule and one interim final rule that modify their original framework for margining uncleared swaps.
Continue Reading Prudential Regulators Revise Initial Margin Rules for Uncleared Swaps

On May 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Global Markets Advisory Committee approved a report that contains several recommendations for action by the CFTC with respect to the implementation of its initial margin (IM) rules for uncleared swaps. The recommendations are focused on the unique challenges faced by small end users of swaps and entities that engage in swap activity through separate managed accounts (SMAs).
Continue Reading CFTC GMAC Recommendations Concerning Initial Margin for Swaps

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

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold an open meeting on April 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (ET) to consider several proposed amendments to its rules, including: (1) proposed amendments to the CFTC’s Part 190 bankruptcy regulations; (2) compliance requirements for commodity pool operators on Form CPO-PQR; and (3) proposed amendments to the CFTC’s Part 50 rules addressing clearing requirements for central banks, sovereigns, international financial institutions, bank holding companies and community development financial institutions.
Continue Reading CFTC to Hold an Open Commission Meeting on April 14

On April 3, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) published a statement to delay the implementation of the final two phases of margin requirements for non-cleared derivatives by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic (the Statement).
Continue Reading BCBS and IOSCO Delay Non-Cleared Margin Rules

On October 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously extended the compliance schedule for initial margin requirements for uncleared swaps for entities with average aggregate notional amounts in material swaps exposure of $8 – $50 billion until September 1, 2021. Entities with more than $50 billion of such exposure are still subject to the

On September 17, the directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved a joint notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) with respect to the prudential regulator margin rules for non-cleared swaps. The joint form of the NPR indicates that the other prudential swap regulators (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency) will all be approving the same NPR in the near future.
Continue Reading FDIC Proposes Amendments to Prudential Regulator Swap Margin Rules

On July 23, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a revised framework for mandatory initial margin applicable to swaps that are not cleared with a central clearing party. The key revision was the insertion of an additional year into the implementation schedule for the margin rules.
Continue Reading Delay of Final Implementation of Swap Initial Margin Rules