CFTC

CFTC Launches LabCFTC as Major Fintech Initiative

 

On May 17, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) approved the creation of LabCFTC, which it describes as “a new initiative aimed at promoting responsible fintech innovation to improve the quality, resiliency and competitiveness of the markets the CFTC oversees.” LabCFTC will also “look to accelerate CFTC engagement with fintech and RegTech solutions that may enable the CFTC to carry out its mission responsibilities more effectively and efficiently.”

The CFTC intends for LabCFTC to be the agency’s focal point to promote fintech innovation and fair competition by making the CFTC more accessible to fintech innovators and serve as a platform to inform the CFTC’s understanding of new technologies. Moreover, the CFTC intends that LabCFTC will be an information source for the CFTC and its staff on responsible innovation that may influence policy development. For more information regarding LabCFTC click here.

The CFTC identified the following Core LabCFTC Components:

  • GuidePoint: GuidePoint is a new dedicated point of contact for fintech innovators to engage with the CFTC, learn about the CFTC’s regulatory framework and obtain feedback and information on the implementation of innovative technology ideas for the market. The CFTC believes that such feedback may include information that, particularly at an early stage, could help innovators/entities save time and money by helping them understand relevant regulations and the CFTC’s oversight approach.
  • CFTC 2.0: A new initiative to foster and help promote the adoption of new technology within the CFTC’s own mission activities through collaboration with fintech industry and CFTC market participants.

The CFTC intends that LabCFTC will facilitate:

  • Through proactive engagement with the innovator community, a better understanding in the CFTC of how new innovations interact with the regulatory and supervisory framework and identification of areas where the framework could better support responsible innovation.
  • Collaboration among the fintech industry and CFTC market participants that facilitate responsible market innovation and promote the use of technology within the CFTC; CFTC participation in studies and research that facilitate responsible innovation in the markets and promote the use of technology within the agency.
  • Cooperation with financial regulators at home and overseas.
  • Monitoring of trends and developments to ensure that CFTC’s regulatory framework supports – and does not unduly impede – responsible technological innovation.
  • Information sharing about applications of fintech, including potential use cases, benefits, risks and solutions.

Engagement with academia, students and professionals on applications of FinTech relevant in the CFTC space.

CTFC Approves Re-Proposal of Position Limits Regulation

 

On December 5, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) unanimously approved to re‑propose rules that implement limits on speculative futures and swap positions. Separately, the CFTC also approved final rules on aggregation of positions, a component of the existing position limits framework. The comment period ends 60 days after publication of the re-proposal in the Federal Register. Release.

Commission Approves an Order Regarding Swap Dealer Registration De Minimis Exception

 

On October 13, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission extended until December 31, 2018, the $8 billion swap dealer registration de minimis threshold. Unless it is further modified, the threshold will become $3 billion once the extension expires. Press Release.

CTFC Approves Proposed Rules Addressing Application of Certain CEA Regulations to Cross-Border Transactions

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) unanimously approved proposed rules relating to the application of certain swap provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CTFC to cross-border transactions. The proposed rules address, among other things, key terms for cross-border transactions, registration thresholds and external business conduct standards. The comment period ends 60 days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register. Press Release.

CFTC Extends No-Action Relief for Swap Execution Facilities from Certain “Block Trade” Requirements

On October 7, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC“) Division of Market Oversight extended time-limited no-action relief for swap execution facilities from the “occurs away” requirement from the definition of “block trade” under CFTC Regulation Section 43.2. Relief is extended until November 15, 2017. Press Release. No Action Letter.

CFTC Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Two Mexican Authorities to Enhance Supervision of Cross-Border Regulated Entities

 

On September 6, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it “signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV) and the Banco de México (BDM) regarding cooperation and the exchange of information in the supervision and oversight of certain regulated entities that operate on a cross-border basis in the United States and in Mexico.” Press release.

CFTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Whistleblower Rule Amendments

 

On September 1, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced that it is “requesting public comment on proposed amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s regulations.” The amendments would, among other things, “enhance the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and make related changes to clarify staff authority to administer the whistleblower program.” Comments are due on or before September 29, 2016. Press release.

CFTC Issues No-Action Letter to Swap Dealers to Extend Collateral Rule Deadline due to Limitations with Custodial Accounts

 

On September 1, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight announced that it “issued a time-limited, no-action letter stating that it will not recommend an enforcement action against a swap dealer subject to the September 1, 2016 compliance date for the CFTC’s uncleared swap margin rules, subject to certain conditions, for failing to fully comply with the custodial arrangement requirements of CFTC regulation 23.157 prior to October 3, 2016.” Press release.

CFTC Extends Comment Period on Proposed Amendments to Regulation 4.22 Regarding CPO Annual Reports

 

On August 30, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission extended the comment period for proposed amendments to a regulation regarding Annual Reports from commodity pool operators. Press release.

CFTC Announces Measures to Enhance Protection of Customer Funds

 

On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced three separate enhancements relating to the protection of customer funds. The new protections address the exemption of certain Federal Reserve Banks from liability under the Commodity Exchange Act, as well as the use of money market funds by derivatives clearing organizations and futures commission merchants. Press Release.