The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced the creation of a new Subcommittee on Margin Requirements for Non-Cleared Swaps under the Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC). The subcommittee will be responsible for examining the implementation of margin requirements for non-cleared swaps and recommending actions to the CFTC to mitigate any related challenges.

Commissioner Dawn Stump, sponsor

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 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.
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On April 29, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Chris Giancarlo sent a letter to Randy Quarles, the Vice Chair for Supervision of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, in which he proposed that the US regulators responsible for the administering the margin rules for uncleared swaps should collaborate in providing some relief to non-dealer swap market participants who may become subject to initial margin requirements in 2020. The specific relief would be the issuance of the same guidance issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in March (for more information, see the March 8, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest), which stated that in-scope parties do not have to put in place compliant documentation and custodial relationships if there is no expectation that the exposure associated with their swaps will actually exceed the regulatory threshold for posting initial margin ($50 million for the United States).
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On May 25, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted an interim final rule designed to provide greater certainty to the global marketplace in the event of a “no-deal Brexit.”

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated withdrawal agreement, affected swap dealers and major swap participants may be required to transfer

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:
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On March 15, the five US regulators (the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) that are responsible for the margin rules for uncleared swaps that apply to prudentially regulated swap dealers adopted an interim final rule designed to ensure that qualifying swaps may be transferred from a UK entity to an affiliate in the European Union or the United States without triggering new margin requirements.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission KISS initiative has finally produced some substantive results for swap dealers in the form of proposed amendments to Subpart L of the CFTC’s regulations (“Segregation of Assets in Uncleared Swap Transactions”) that were issued for comment on July 24. Subpart L (which encompasses CFTC Regulations 23.700-704) has been problematic for swap dealers since it was adopted early in 2014 because of the compliance challenges created by the extremely complicated and prescriptive nature of these provisions.
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On May 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a proposed rule to amend the CFTC’s margin requirements for uncleared swaps for swap dealers and major swap participants. The proposed rule amendments are intended to make the same changes to the CFTC margin requirements that federal banking regulators recently proposed for the margin rules for swap dealers that are subject to prudential regulation (for more information, please see the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition of February 12, 2018). The proposed rule will ensure that master netting agreements of firms subject to the CFTC margin requirements are not excluded from the definition of “eligible master netting agreement” merely because they comply with recent regulatory changes to the treatment of qualified financial contracts executed with banks (“QFC Rules”).
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On October 13, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the European Commission (EC) made three announcements that are significant for cross-border swap activity between the United States and Europe.

  1. CFTC Margin Rule Comparability Determination.

The CFTC has made a determination that the margin rules for uncleared swaps that apply in the European Union are comparable to the CFTC’s margin rules. This determination activates the substituted compliance provisions found in Section 23.160(b)(2)(iii) of the CFTC margin rules that until now have not been available to EU entities registered as swap dealers.
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