On December 23, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a no-action letter regarding family offices and Regulation Best Interest.

Specifically, the SEC staff indicated that the SEC would not treat Institutional Family Offices as “retail customers” for broker dealers for purposes of Regulation Best Interest and broker dealers’ Form CRS. An Institutional Family Office

On November 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved a final rule (Final Rule) amending CFTC regulations relating to the execution of “package transactions” on swap execution facilities (SEFs) and the resolution of error trades on SEFs.
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Final Rule Amending SEF Requirements

On October 22, the staff of the Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission (DTM) issued a no-action letter (the No-Action Letter) to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) providing time-limited relief for broker-dealers operating fully paid lending programs (FPL Programs) in which they borrow fully paid and excess margin securities from their customers without complying with the requirement that the broker-dealer physically deliver collateral supporting the loan to the customer making the loan. Paragraph (b)(3) of SEC Rule 15c3-3 (the customer protection rule) requires that a broker-dealer that borrows fully paid or excess margin securities from a customer enter an agreement with such customer that requires the broker-dealer to:
Continue Reading SEC Staff Issues No-Action Relief Addressing Customer Protection Rule Violations Despite the Objection of Two Commissioners

On October 27, the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a public directive to clarify the CFTC’s use of staff letters and guidance. In his remarks, Chairman Tarbert highlighted the purpose and binding nature of no-action letters, interpretive letters, staff guidance (including advisories and FAQs) and exemptive letters. Specifically:
Continue Reading CFTC Chairman Tarbert Issues Statement on the Use of Staff Letters and Guidance

On October 13, the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued two no-action letters that provide limited relief from swap transaction and pricing data reporting requirements for specific derivatives clearing organizations (DCOs) and market participants that take part in upcoming DCO auctions intended to assist in transitioning certain cleared swaps

On September 11, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) had issued CFTC Letter No. 20-26, further extending certain elements of the temporary no-action relief issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire on September 30. The extended relief expires on January 15, 2021.
Continue Reading CFTC Further Extends Certain No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

On August 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) issued a no-action letter (No-Action Letter 20-23) providing additional relief to swap dealers (SDs) and other market participants related to the industry-wide initiative to transition from swaps that reference the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and other interbank offered rates (IBORs) to swaps that reference alternative benchmarks.
Continue Reading CFTC No-Action Letter 20-23: CFTC Provides Additional Relief to Market Participants Transitioning from LIBOR

On August 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a no-action letter (No-Action Letter 20-24) providing time-limited relief from the trade execution requirement for certain swaps.
Continue Reading CFTC No-Action Letter 20-24: CFTC Provides Relief from the Trade Execution Requirement

On August 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) issued a no-action letter (No-Action Letter 20-25) relating to the swap clearing requirement promulgated pursuant to section 2(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and codified in Part 50 of the CFTC’s regulations (Clearing Requirement).
Continue Reading CFTC No-Action Letter 20-25: CFTC Provides Time-Limited Relief from the Swap Clearing Requirement