On September 19, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) published a proposed rule change (available here) to delay implementation of certain margin requirements in respect of what are referred to as “Covered Agency Transactions,” including To Be Announced (“TBA”) transactions and other specified delayed delivery transactions involving mortgage-backed securities.

The delay will move the implementation date of the margin requirements from December 15, 2017 until June 25, 2018.  
Continue Reading FINRA Publishes Proposed Rule Change to Delay Implementation of TBA Margining Until June 25, 2018

On January 14, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) solicited comments on a proposal by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) to revise its proposed changes to FINRA Rule 4210.   If implemented, FINRA’s proposal will result in the margining of certain trades in the To Be Announced (“TBA”) market.  This posting will provide a summary of FINRA’s proposed amendments, which relate to:

1) the types of transactions that will be subject to the new margin requirements; and

2) the implementation schedule for the margin proposal.

This posting will give specific consideration to the issue of how these proposed amendments could affect buy side firms.

Comments on the partial amendments are due to the SEC by February 11, 2016 with any rebuttal comments subsequently due on March 7, 2016.
Continue Reading FINRA Proposes Amendments to Its TBA Margin Proposal: Much Ado About Nothing or Meaningful Amendments?

The short answer is it is not clear, but we do not expect the new margin rules to apply to trades any earlier than June 2016 or later than January 2018, assuming that the proposed rules are approved by the SEC.  Although, we recommend that market participants consider dealing with any open negotiations of Master Securities Forward Transaction Agreements (MSFTAs) and re-papering of existing MSFTAs well in advance of the actual implementation date.

The remainder of this posting will deal with the mechanics and procedures behind the determination of these dates and provide our readers with additional information in respect of our recommendation to “dust off” their MSFTA files sooner rather than later.
Continue Reading When Will FINRA’s New TBA Margin Proposal Go Into Effect and Be Implemented?