The official beginning of autumn accompanies several developments related to the ongoing progress of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank"). In May 2011, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, provided the public with an opportunity to further comment on the timing of phasing in the Dodd-Frank requirements during a joint, two-day roundtable meeting. A key theme that emerged from the comments received by the CFTC and the SEC was that many market participants will require more time to make certain that their swap transactions are in compliance with the new regulatory requirements.
In a Federal Register notice published on September 20, 2011, the CFTC requested public comment on its proposed implementation schedules for many of the clearing, execution, documentation, and margining regulations coming out under Dodd-Frank. The schedules that were proposed would be triggered by, among other things, final CFTC regulatory requirements on the mandatory clearing of swaps, as well as swap trade execution, trading documentation, and uncleared margin for swaps. The implementation schedules would phase in the requirements over three, six, or nine months, depending on several factors, including the type of market participant involved.
The schedules would establish a two-stage process for phasing in compliance obligations. Market participants would first be divided into three categories based upon their registration status or level of swap activity, and then the compliance dates will depend on which category into which a market participant is sorted. Three-month, six-month, or nine-month compliance periods will be set according to each category for compliance with mandatory clearing requirements, documentation, and margin requirements when entering into uncleared swaps.
Comments on the proposed schedules must be received by November 4, 2011. We will keep you informed regarding any further developments.