On June 22, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Brett Redfearn, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, spoke together on an SEC-sponsored virtual forum about modernizing the US Equity Market Structure. Chairman Clayton identified the market for thinly traded securities, retail fraud and National Market System (NMS) market data and access as three current targets for SEC initiatives.
Continue Reading SEC Chairman Speaks on Modernizing US Equity Market Structure

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has amended its Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public) and Rule 2241 (Research Analysts and Research Reports) to conform to the requirements of the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017 (FAIR Act) and subsequent rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As background, the FAIR Act and related SEC rules establish a safe harbor under which unaffiliated broker-dealers may publish and distribute research reports on “covered investment funds” without the publication or distribution being deemed an offer of securities. For these purposes, the term “covered investment funds” generally includes registered investment companies, business development companies, and certain commodity- and currency-based trusts and funds.

Continue Reading FINRA Amends Rules 2210 and 2241 to Conform to FAIR Act

On May 21, the National Futures Association (NFA) submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proposed amendments to NFA Bylaw 1301 regarding the schedule of dues and assessments for swaps firms. NFA Bylaw 1301 imposes dues and assessments on futures commission merchants (FCM) (for which NFA is the designated self-regulatory organization (DSRO)), introducing brokers (IB), commodity pool operators (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) Members that are approved swaps firms under Bylaw 301(l).
Continue Reading Proposed Amendments to NFA Bylaw 1301 Regarding the Schedule of Dues and Assessments

On March 28, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it has unanimously approved two final rule amendments designed to ease registrants’ regulatory burdens. Both final rule proposals originated from the CFTC’s Project KISS Initiative, which is intended to simplify and reduce burdens by revisiting our rules based on staff implementation experience and public comment. The two rule amendments will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and are detailed below:
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Rule Amendments to Ease Regulatory Burdens

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

Continue Reading CFTC Takes Action on Rules Relating to Swaps and Swap Execution Facilities

On August 27, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets issued a public statement on the status of the consolidated audit trail (CAT) and the SROs’ (defined below) currently expected timetable for compliance with their obligations under the revised Plan (defined below).
Continue Reading Statement on Status of the Consolidated Audit Trail

The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to publish for public comment a National Market System (NMS) plan to create a consolidated audit trail (CAT) to better enable regulators to track trading in equity and option securities. The CAT plan was submitted jointly by the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to the SEC.
Continue Reading SEC Seeks Public Comment on Consolidated Audit Trail Proposal