On January 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division (MPD) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 21-04 and Letter No. 21-05 (the Staff Letters) to extend, for a limited time, parts of the temporary no-action relief granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which expired on January 15.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Limited Continuation of Certain No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

On January 19, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members 1-21-03, announcing that remote online testing is now available for futures industry proficiency. The exams include Series 3, Series 30, Series 31, Series 32 and Series 34, which FINRA administers on behalf of NFA. Tests also may continue to be taken at a local test center. The availability of remote online testing has not affected NFA’s Swaps Proficiency Requirements.

Continue Reading Remote Online Testing Available for Candidates Seeking to Take Futures Industry Proficiency Examinations

On January 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division determined that the National Futures Association’s (NFA) swap dealer capital model requirements and review program are comparable with the CFTC’s swap dealer capital model requirements and review program. As a result, a capital model approved by NFA will be accepted as an alternative means of compliance with CFTC Regulation 23.102.
Continue Reading CFTC Approves NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Model Review Program

On January 7, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) announced the signing of an Enhanced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding cooperation and the exchange of information with respect to certain registered derivatives clearing organizations established in the United States that are central counterparties (CCPs) recognized by ESMA under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation.
Continue Reading CFTC and ESMA Sign Enhanced MOU Related to Certain Recognized Central Counterparties

On December 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it adopted a rule to limit the potential for overlapping or duplicative regulation within its security-based swap regulatory regime. Specifically, the rule exempts certain activities of security-based swap execution facilities (SEFs) and security-based swap dealers from triggering the requirement also to register as a clearing agency. The adopted rule is in line with similar exemptions for broker-dealers and national securities exchanges.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Clearing Agency Rule to Limit Potential for Overlapping or Duplicative Regulation

On December 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt final rules that will require resource extraction issuers that are required to file reports under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) to disclose payments made to the US federal government or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Final Rules for the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers

On December 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Market Oversight issued CFTC Letter No. 20-45, which extends relief from the trade execution requirement for certain inter-affiliate transactions provided under CFTC Letter No. 17-67 (available here) and prior staff letters. CFTC Letter No. 17-67 provides relief from the trade execution requirement under CFTC Regulation 50.52(a) with regard to swaps that are entered into by eligible affiliate counterparties and cleared, regardless of the affiliates’ ability to claim the inter-affiliate clearing exemption under CFTC Regulation 50.52(b). The no-action relief was set to expire on December 31.
Continue Reading CFTC Extends Temporary No-Action Relief From Trade Execution Requirement for Certain Affiliated Counterparties

On November 30, ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA) announced that it will hold a consultation on its intention to (1) cease the publication of the one week and two month USD LIBOR settings after December 31, 2021, but (2) continue publishing the remaining USD LIBOR settings until June 30, 2023.
Continue Reading Possible Life After 2021 for Some US Dollar LIBOR Tenors