CFTC

CFTC Finalizes Rules to Improve Swap Data Reporting

 

On September 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved three final rules to revise CFTC regulations for swap data reporting, dissemination and public reporting requirements for market participants. The CFTC also approved a final rule that will permit derivatives clearing organizations organized outside of the U.S. to be registered with the CFTC. The CFTC also approved a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking regarding amendments to the CFTC’s regulations that govern bankruptcy proceedings for commodity brokers. Release.

CFTC Further Extends Certain No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

 

On September 11, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced the Division of Swap Dealer Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) are further extending certain elements of the temporary no-action relief issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that are set to expire on September 30. The extended relief expires January 15. Such relief includes relief for affected firms from CFTC regulations related to voice trading and other telephonic communications, as well as time-stamping requirements when located in remote, socially-distanced locations. No-action relief will also be extended for SEFs and DCMs from certain CFTC regulations regarding audit trails, recording of oral communications, and related requirements as a result of the displacement of trading personnel from their normal business sites. Release.

CFTC Approves Proposed Amendments to Margin Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants

 

On August 14, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved two proposed amendments to margin requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants (the “CFTC Margin Rule”). The first proposal would, among other changes, revise the method for determining whether an entity comes within the scope of the initial margin requirements under the CFTC Margin Rule and the timing for compliance. The second proposal would permit the application of separate minimum transfer amounts for initial and variation margin, as well as a minimum transfer amount of up to $50,000 for separately managed accounts. Each proposal will be subject to a 30-day comment period following publication in the Federal Register. Release.

Regulatory Agencies Finalize Changes to Covered Fund Provisions of the Volcker Rule

 

On July 31, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB), the U.S. CFTC, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a final rule amending the regulations that implement Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act (the “BHC Act”), commonly known as the Volcker Rule. The final rule, which goes into effect on October 1, is intended to improve and streamline the covered fund provisions of Section 13 of the BHC Act. The final rule aims to accomplish this by, among other things, permitting the following activities: qualifying foreign excluded funds; revising the exclusions from the definition of “covered fund” for foreign public funds, loan securitizations, public welfare investments, and small business investment companies; creating new exclusions from the definition of covered fund for credit funds, qualifying venture capital funds, family wealth management vehicles, and customer facilitation vehicles; modifying the definition of “ownership interest”; and providing that certain investments made in parallel with a covered fund, as well as certain restricted profit interests held by an employee or director, need not be included in a banking entity’s calculation of its ownership interest in the covered fund. OCC Bulletin. Federal Register Final Rule.

CFTC Approves Final Swap Dealer Capital Rule

 

On July 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved a final rule regarding new capital and financial reporting requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants that are not subject to supervision by a banking regulator and imposing financial reporting requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants generally. The final rule provides swap dealers and major swap participants three alternative methods to establish and meet minimum capital requirements depending on the characteristics of their business. The final rule also includes: a comprehensive model approval process; accompanying financial reporting, recordkeeping, and notification requirements; and a substituted compliance determination process for those swap dealers that may already be required to maintain capital in accordance with a foreign regulator. Release.

CFTC Approves Final Rule Regarding Registration Requirements for Commodity Pool Operators

 

On June 4, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) finalized a rule to prohibit certain commodity pool operators from relying on the registration exemptions found in Regulation 4.13 in Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations (“Regulation 4.13”). The final rule generally prohibits persons who have, or whose principals have, any of the disqualifying factors listed in Section 8a (2) of the Commodity Exchange Act from claiming one of the exemptions to the commodity-pool-operator registration requirements set forth in Regulation 4.13. Release.

CFTC: Interim Final Rule – Uncleared Swaps Margin – Proposed Rule: CPO Registration Exemption

 

On May 28, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) approved an interim rule to grant an extension of the compliance schedule for initial margin requirements for uncleared swaps in response to operational challenges certain entities are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFTC also approved a proposed rule that amends regulation 3.10(c)(3), which provides an exemption from registration as a CPO for certain persons located outside the U.S. who are operating offshore commodity pools that are neither offered nor sold to U.S. participants. Release.

CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Supplements No-Action Relief to SEFs and DCMs from Certain CFTC Regulations for Correction of Errors

 

On January 8, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight issued a no-action letter that provides an alternative error correction process by which swap execution facilities (SEFs) and designated contract markets (DCMs) may permit counterparties to determine that an error has occurred and correct the error, subject to ex post facto review by the SEF or DCM. The no-action letter supplements the relief provided in CFTC Letter 17-27, which provided relief from certain CFTC regulations to permit SEFs and DCMs to correct clerical or operational errors discovered after a swap has been cleared. CFTC Release.

Agencies Publish Rule Excluding Community Banks from Volcker Rule

 

On July 9, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a final rule that excludes community banks from the Volcker Rule, which restricts banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading and from owning, sponsoring or having certain relationships with hedge funds or private equity funds. Under the final rule that was adopted, community banks with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, and which have total trading assets and liabilities that are 5% or less than such community bank’s total consolidated assets, will be excluded from the Volcker Rule.