U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)

CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Extends Existing Relief and Provides Additional Relief for Reporting Parties From Reporting Obligations as Required by the OCR Final Rule

 

On September 25, 2017, the Division of Market Oversight of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission “issued a no-action letter (CFTC Staff Letter 17-45) that extends current relief and provides additional relief to reporting parties from [certain] reporting obligations[ under a 2013 final rule relating to ownership and control in futures and swap markets.]” Release.

CFTC Unanimously Approves Revisions to Delegated Authorities and Technical Amendments

 

On June 20, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission“) unanimously approved a Final Rule on Revisions to Commission Delegated Authority Provisions and Technical Amendments (“Final Rule“). As a result of the recent Commission restructuring, the Final Rule amends certain Commission organizational and procedural provisions to facilitate the movement of the Division of Market Oversight Surveillance Branch to the Division of Enforcement. Specifically, the Final Rule establishes new, and amends certain existing, delegations of authority to Commission staff and makes a limited number of conforming technical corrections to certain Commission regulations. The Final Rule is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Release.

CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight Issues Time-Limited No-Action Transition for March 1, 2017 Compliance Date for Variation Margin and No-Action Relief From Minimum Transfer Amount Provisions

 

On February 13, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC“) announced that, between March 1, 2017 and September 1, 2017, it would “not recommend an enforcement action against a swap dealer (SD) for failure to comply with the variation margin requirements for swaps that are subject to a March 1, 2017 compliance date.” Importantly, the CFTC is not delaying the compliance date, but rather providing a “grace period” for compliance.

In the same release, the CFTC announced it would “not recommend an enforcement action against an SD, subject to certain conditions, that does not comply with the minimum transfer amount (MTA) requirements of” two CFTC regulations. Release.

CFTC Issues Time-Limited No-Action Relief for Aggregation Notice Filings for Position Limits

 

On February 6, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight issued a time-limited no-action letter providing relief for notice filing failures that relied on certain aggregation exemptions from federal position limit levels. The letter provides temporary relief from February 14, 2017 to August 14, 2017. Press Release. No-Action Letter.

CFTC Extends Public Comment Period for the Supplemental Proposal for Regulation Automated Trading

 

On January 23, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced an extension for the public comment period for the supplemental proposal for Regulation Automated Trading (Regulation AT). Comments may now be submitted through May 1, 2017. Release.

CFTC Unanimously Approves Proposals on Swaps Data and Other Amendments

 

On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC“) approved two rules: one relating to access to swaps data and one relating to disciplinary actions. The CFTC is accepting comments on the proposed amendments until 60 days after the Federal Register publishes the proposed amendments. Release.

CFTC Unanimously Approves Proposal to Amend Recordkeeping Requirements

 

On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC“) “approved proposed amendments to Regulation 1.31 … [that] … would modernize and make technology‑neutral the form and manner in which regulatory records must be kept, as well as rationalize the rule text for ease of understanding.” The CFTC is accepting comments on the proposed amendments until 60 days after the Federal Register publishes the proposed amendments. Release.

No-Action Relief Allowing Use of Consolidated Risk Disclosure Statement

 

On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission‘s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight provided no-action relief to futures commission merchants (FCMs) and introducing brokers (IBs), allowing them to provide non-institutional customers with a single, consolidated risk disclosure statement containing the same material information required in several risk disclosure statements. The intent is to provide greater efficiency and potentially reduce confusion to customers. Release.

CFTC Amends Swap Portfolio Reconciliation Requirement

On May 2, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved a final rule to amend the swap portfolio reconciliation requirement.  Under CFTC Regulation 23.500(i), swap dealers and major swap participants were required to exchange all terms of swaps with their counterparties as part of the portfolio reconciliation exercise, but were only required to reconcile the material terms of swaps.  Amendments to the definitions of “portfolio reconciliation” and “material terms” now make it so that swap dealers and major swap participants need only exchange the material terms of swaps, so that the terms that are required to be exchanged are the same as those terms required to be reconciled.  Release.

CFTC Approves Guidance Relating to Appropriate Treatment of Electric Power and Natural Gas Contracts

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) approved guidance relating to the appropriate treatment of certain electric power and natural gas contracts.  The guidance provides that certain capacity contracts in electric power markets and certain natural gas contracts should not be considered “swaps” under the Commodity Exchange Act.  Release.