The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) has further supplemented its Legal Guidelines for Smart Derivatives Contracts series with guidelines focused on credit and foreign exchange (FX) derivatives contracts.

A “smart derivatives contract” is a derivative contract that incorporates software code to automate aspects of the derivative transaction and operates on a distributed ledger, such

FINRA and the CFTC each issued recent advisories on commodity-linked exchange traded products. Directed at retail investors and broker-dealers, the advisories each highlighted certain issues unique to commodity-linked exchange traded products that were recently demonstrated by market reactions to fluctuating oil prices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The advisories provided guidance on relevant considerations in

On May 28, 2020, commissioners of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously voted to approve:

(1) an interim final rule (IFR) that would defer the next phase of the compliance schedule for the initial margin (IM) requirements for uncleared swaps in response to operational challenges certain entities are facing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic; and

(2) a proposed rule (Proposed Rule) which, if finalized, would amend the CFTC Regulation 3.10 exemption from registration as a commodity pool operator (CPO) for certain foreign persons.
Continue Reading CFTC Unanimously Approves Uncleared Margin Interim Final Rule and a Foreign CPO Exemption Amendments

On April 6, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Office of Customer Education and Outreach (“OCEO”) published an additional customer advisory (“Advisory”) cautioning the public regarding potential fee scams. OCEO noted that many of these schemes are now targeting individuals that may be financially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. OCEO previously published a Customer Advisory on March 31, 2020 regarding potential fraudulent schemes posing to take advantage of market volatility related to the pandemic. (See our blog post on this advisory here).

Continue Reading CFTC Publishes New Customer Advisory Cautioning Away From Potential Coronavirus-Related Fee Scams

On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Office of Customer Education and Outreach (“OCEO”) published a Customer Advisory warning market participants away from potential fraudulent schemes that may arise to take advantage of market volatility related to COVID-19.

In a related Press Release, CFTC Chief Communications Officer and Director of Public Affairs Michael Short stated, “[d]uring this period of market volatility, we want to ensure the public has important information to help detect and stop fraud”.

Continue Reading CFTC Staff Publish Customer Advisory on Fraudulent Schemes in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

In its November 25, 2019 Open Meeting, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) commissioners voted to approve final rules amending Part 4 of the CFTC rules addressing registration and compliance requirements for commodity pool operators (“CPOs”) and commodity trading advisors (“CTAs”). The CFTC proposed amendments to Part 4 in October 2018. The final rule will be effective thirty days after publication in the Federal Register.

This post summarizes select key amendments in the rule and what action must be taken by firms intending to take advantage of the new amendments, if any.

Continue Reading CFTC Votes To Codify CPO/CTA Registration Relief at Open Meeting

On Monday, June 24, 2019, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, and U.K. Financial Conduct Authority Chief Executive Andrew Bailey issued a joint statement (“Joint Statement”) regarding collaboration to monitor the credit derivatives markets.  The Joint Statement states, in part, that:

The continued pursuit of various opportunistic strategies in the credit derivatives markets, including but not limited to those that have been referred to as “manufactured credit events,” may adversely affect the integrity, confidence and reputation of the credit derivatives markets, as well as markets more generally.  These opportunistic strategies raise various issues under securities, derivatives, conduct and antifraud laws, as well as public policy concerns.

The Joint Statement also notes that the agencies’ collaborative efforts would not preclude any of the agencies from taking independent actions under their respective authority.
Continue Reading U.S. and UK Regulators Make Joint Commitment to Combat “Manufactured Credit Events” in CDS Market

On April 25, 2019, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced its approval of a proposed rule and request for comment (“Proposed Rule”) that, if finalized, would amend swap data repository (“SDR”) regulations. The Proposed Rule also proposes to amend existing SDR reporting requirements for market participants. In sum, if adopted, the Proposed Rule will require market participants who are subject to reporting obligations under Part 45 of the CFTC Rules (“reporting counterparties”) to:

  • verify the accuracy of swap data against swaps reports generated and provided by the SDR; and
  • correct swap data errors and omissions “as soon as technologically practicable . . . but no later than three business days following” discovery of the error or omission.

Similarly, any non-reporting counterparty that discovers an error or omission would have to lodge a report with the reporting counterparty as soon as technologically practicable but within three business days after discovering the error or omission.

The comment period for the Proposed Rule ends on July 29, 2019. The remainder of this post provides additional information about the Proposed Rule and potential implications for market participants.

Continue Reading CFTC Begins Implementing Swap Data Roadmap; Proposes Additional Reporting Requirements

On May 3, 2019, the International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) proposed amendments (“Exposure Draft”) to two accounting standards in response to concerns raised by the transition away from the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Specifically, the Exposure Draft addresses International Financial Reporting Standard (“IFRS”) 9 Financial Instruments and International Accounting Standard (“IAS”) 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. The IASB is accepting comments on the Exposure Draft until June 17, 2019 and plans to issue final amendments later this year.
Continue Reading In Anticipation of LIBOR Transition, IASB Proposes Amendments To Hedge Accounting Standards

In April 2019, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) published the results of its latest survey of the margin amounts collected by market participants. The publication identifies key themes derived from a 2018 survey of firms that are subject to the Prudential Regulator or U.S. Commodity & Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) initial margin (“IM”) requirements. In this post, we summarize themes presented in the survey summary in the context of the margin requirements.
Continue Reading ISDA Survey Highlights Growth in Initial Margin Collection In 2018 As Final Phases Draw Near