Short Answer

Yes, for all intents and purposes.

Explanation

The administrative process related to the deferral of Rule 4210 has become a perennial source of confusion, given the perennial deferral of margining on to-be-announced securities (or what can be described as the delayed delivery of margin on TBAs (pun intended), not that anybody is complaining about these deferrals).

So, we have distilled this administrative process down to a few bullet points:


Continue Reading FINRA Rule 4210 Update: Is the deferral of TBA Margining to October 26, 2021 effective already?

FINRA recently submitted a filing with the SEC that will effectively delay the mandatory margining of TBAs pursuant to FINRA Rule 4210 until October 26, 2021.   In that filing, FINRA indicated that it is considering whether there should be additional revisions to FINRA Rule 4210 (i.e., beyond those that are now scheduled to go into

In this episode, Todd Zerega and Andrew Cross discuss three timely topics:

1) Recent market developments that may result in an effective 18-month deferral of the transition from LIBOR to a replacement reference rate;

2) Changes to CFTC Regulation 4.5 related to the designation of a registered investment company’s commodity pool operator; and

3)

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

I. DERIVATIVES ISSUES

1. Inventory “relationship level” considerations in legal documentation that governs your derivatives trading relationships (ISDA Master Agreements, Futures Customer Agreements, Master Securities Forward Transaction Agreements, etc.)

a. Example: Decline in Net Asset Value Provisions (Common in ISDAs)

i. Identify the trigger decline levels and time frames at which transactions under the agreement can be terminated (25% over a 1-month period – is that measured on a rolling basis or by reference to the prior month’s end?)

ii. Confirm whether all or only some transactions can be terminated (typically, it is all transactions)

iii. Identify the notice requirements that apply when a threshold is crossed

iv. Identify whether the agreement includes a “fish or cut bait clause” that restricts the ability of the other party to designate the termination of the transactions under the trading agreement


Continue Reading Market Volatility Regulatory Outline for Asset Managers

FINRA has recently submitted a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to propose another delay to the implementation of TBA margin requirements under Rule 4210. The new implementation date would be March 25, 2021.

FINRA has requested that the deferred implementation date becomes effective immediately upon filing of the rule change by FINRA with the SEC.  
Continue Reading FINRA Rule 4210 Update: FINRA Proposes To Delay TBA Margining (Again) Until March 25, 2021

FINRA has made it official.  Earlier today, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 19-05, delaying TBA margin requirements until March 25, 2020.  FINRA explained:

FINRA is issuing this Notice to announce that FINRA is extending by an additional year, until March 25, 2020, the effective date of the margin requirements that otherwise would have become effective

On January 29th, FINRA released the following statement:

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) a proposed rule change to extend, to March 25, 2020, the implementation date of the amendments to FINRA Rule 4210 (Margin Requirements) pursuant to SR-FINRA-2015-036, other than the amendments pursuant to SR-FINRA-2015-036 that were implemented on December 15, 2016. 

FINRA has indicated that it will file the proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) with a request for “immediate effectiveness,” which means that FINRA is recommending to the SEC that the deferred implementation date will become effective  immediately upon filing of the rule change by FINRA with the SEC.  
Continue Reading FINRA Rule 4210 Update: New Proposed Implementation Date of March 25, 2020 for TBA Margining

On October 31st, the CFTC’s Office of the Chief Economist (the “OCE”) issued a report about “Phase 5” of the uncleared margin rules (“UMR”) that are slated to go into effect on September 1, 2020.  The purpose of the report was “to guide regulators in their responses to industry requests for relief” from the scheduled application of Phase 5.

This post will provide an overview of the main conclusions of the report.  Any potential implementation of revisions to the UMR consistent with the conclusions in the report would have the effect of reducing the number of market participants subject to UMR, thereby simplifying compliance processes and burdens on entities that may have otherwise been impacted by the UMR.  It is too early to forecast whether regulators will propose and ultimately implement revisions to the UMR based upon this report.  Although, we believe that its issuance is a noteworthy development.

At the outset, the UMR are complex and their application to any particular trading activities should be undertaken in consultation with counsel familiar with these rules.  This post is not legal advice.


Continue Reading Initial Margin Phase 5: Report from CFTC’s Office of the Chief Economist

Earlier today, the CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk issued an interpretation stating that, “variation margin (‘VM’) payments and all other payments in satisfaction of outstanding exposures on counterparty’s cleared swap positions constitute settlement of the outstanding exposure and not collateral against it.”  The practical effect of this interpretation
Continue Reading CFTC DCR: Variation Margin Payments Are Settlement of Cleared Swap Exposures, Not Collateral