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 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 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 December 8, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved a final rule amending Part 37 of the CFTC Regulations addressing operational issues facing swap execution facilities (SEF) and their market participants in connection with the CFTC’s regulatory requirements for a SEF’s audit trail data, financial resources, and chief compliance officer (CCO). Specifically, the Final Rule (1) eliminates the requirement for a SEF to capture and retain post-execution allocation information in its audit trail data, (2) applies the existing Core Principle 13 financial resources requirements to SEF operations in a less burdensome manner, and (3) streamlines requirements for the CCO position and allows SEF management to exercise greater discretion in CCO oversight.
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Final Rules Related to SEFs and Withdraws Comprehensive Proposals

On December 3, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO, and collectively, the Divisions) issued CFTC Letter No. 20-43, an interpretation regarding Sections 2(h)(1) and 2(h)(8) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the CFTC regulations thereunder.
Continue Reading CFTC Interprets and Issues No-action Relief from Certain Clearing and Trade Execution Requirements

On December 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Market Participants Division (MPD) and Division of Clearing and Risk (DCR) jointly issued no-action relief, effective immediately, to provide greater certainty to the global marketplace in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The relief permits market participants to transfer certain swaps to an affiliate without such swaps becoming subject to the CFTC’s swap clearing requirement or uncleared swap margin requirement. The relief applies to transfers that occur up to one year following the conclusion of the transition period.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Further Brexit-Related Relief to Provide Market Certainty

On December 8, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-20-45 to remind member firms that the compliance date for NFA’s Swaps Proficiency Requirements (Requirements) is January 31, 2021 (Compliance Date). As more fully discussed in the July 10, 2020 edition of the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest,
Continue Reading NFA Issues Notice to Members Regarding Compliance Date Swaps Proficiency Requirements