Rating Agency Developments

On August 9, Fitch updated its UK mortgage loan assumptions.  Fitch Report. 

On August 9, Fitch updated its criteria for UK whole business securitizations.  Fitch Report.

On August 9, S&P updated its methodology for U.S. RMBS backed by pre-2009 collateral.  S&P Report. 

On August 8, Fitch updated its corporate rating methodology.  Fitch Report. 

On August 8, Fitch published its updated insurance-linked securities rating criteria.  Fitch Release.  Fitch Criteria.

On August 8, Fitch updated its criteria for automated valuation models in EMEA RMBS.  Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 8, Fitch updated its global rating criteria for corporate CDOs.   Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 8, Fitch updated its rating criteria for currency swap obligations of an SPV in structured finance transactions.  
Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.  

On August 8, Fitch updated its rating criteria for multiborrower U.S. CMBS.  Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 8, Fitch updated its global rating criteria for distressed debt exchanges.  Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 7, Fitch issued a special report on risk considerations for REO-to-Rental securitizations.   Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 7, Fitch updated its rating criteria for prepaid energy transactions.   Fitch Release.  Fitch Report.

On August 7, Fitch updated its mortgage loss assumptions for German RMBS and covered bonds.  Fitch Report.  

On August 3, Fitch updated its U.S. water and sewer revenue bond criteria.  Fitch Report.

On August 3, DBRS updated its methodology for capital call lending facilities.  DBRS Report. 

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CFTC Final Regulations on Phase in Compliance with Clearing Requirements and Proposed Rule on Clearing Determination

On July 24, the CFTC approved final regulations establishing a schedule to phase in compliance with new clearing requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act. As amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commodity Exchange Act provides that a person may not engage in a swap unless the swap is submitted for clearing to a derivatives clearing organization registered under the CEA, or is exempt from registration under the CEA. The regulations will phase in the clearing requirement based on the type of market participant entering into swaps subject to the clearing requirement. The compliance schedule identifies three categories of market participants, and allots a compliance timeframe for each based on level of activity, market experience, resources, and status as registrants with the CFTC or SEC. The CFTC also issued the first proposed clearing determination for credit default swaps and interest rate swaps. The compliance schedule will be triggered upon the final clearing determination. Final Rule Release. Final Rule. Proposed Rule Release. Proposed Rule.

SEC Rules for Derivative Regulation

The SEC, on July 6, and the CFTC, on July 10, approved rules and interpretations for key definitions of certain derivatives products. The SEC rules and interpretations further define the terms “swap” and “security-based swap” and whether a particular instrument is a “swap” regulated by the CFTC or a “security-based swap” regulated by the SEC. The action also addresses “mixed swaps,” which are regulated by both agencies, and “security-based swap agreements,” which are regulated by the CFTC but over which the SEC has antifraud and other authority. The rules will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. However, solely for the purposes of certain interim relief granted and exemptions adopted under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the compliance date for the final rules further defining the term “security-based swap” will be 180 days after the publication in the Federal Register. SEC Release. CFTC Meeting Notice.

CFTC Proposed Extension of the Effective Date for Swap Regulation

On October 18, the CFTC proposed to amend a final order issued on July 14 granting temporary exemptive relief from certain provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act that would have taken effect on July 16. The proposed order would extend such exemptive relief from December 31 to July 16, 2012. The original order grants relief from: (i) provisions added or amended by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act that reference one or more terms regarding entities or instruments that Title VII requires to be further defined and (ii) provisions that may apply to certain agreements, contracts, and transactions in exempt or excluded commodities as a result of the repeal of various CEA exemptions and exclusions. CFTC Fact Sheet.

CFTC Final Rules on Position Limits for Futures and Swaps

On October 18, pursuant to Section 737 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFTC adopted final rules requiring limits on speculative positions in 28 core physical commodity contracts and their economically equivalent futures, options, and swaps. The position limits established under the final rules will be effective 60 days after the term “swap” is further defined by CFTC rulemaking. CFTC Fact Sheet.

SEC Proposed Rules for Registration of Swap Dealers and Participants

On October 12, the SEC proposed rules, pursuant to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, setting out the process security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants must follow to register with the SEC. Comments must be submitted within 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. SEC Release. SEC Proposed Rule.

CFTC Final Rule on Agricultural Swaps

On August 4, the CFTC adopted final rules which generally permit the transaction of swaps in an agricultural commodity and provides that agricultural swaps will be subject to all rules and regulations applicable to any other swap. The rules will be effective on December 31. CFTC Fact Sheet Agricultural Swaps. CFTC Q&A Agricultural Swaps.