Proposed Rules

Exclusion of utility operators from swaps threshold. The CFTC published proposed rule amendments that would adjust the de minimis threshold for determining if an entity that enters into swaps with utility special entities must register as a swap dealer. Comments should be submitted by July 2, 2014. (5/22/2014) 79 FR 31238.

Regulatory Orders

Treatment of customer funds. The CFTC amended an earlier issued order to ICE Clear Europe Limited, a registered derivatives clearing organization, concerning when ICE Clear Europe and its futures commission merchant clearing members may commingle in a futures customer account positions in futures and options, and foreign futures and foreign options, and related customer money, securities, and property; and portfolio margin the same. The amended order permits certain interest rate, energy, and financial contracts to be included. (5/30/2014) CFTC press release.

DCO registration vacated. The CFTC vacated the registration of New York Portfolio Clearing as a derivatives clearing organization at NYPC’s request. (5/30/3014) CFTC press release.

Regulatory Relief

Canadian banks receive reporting relief. The Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight providedtime limited relief to each of the five Canadian banks that are registered with the CFTC as swap dealers from the requirement that swap dealers furnish risk exposure reports on a quarterly basis. (5/30/30214) CFTC press release.

Registration relief for DCMs and SEFs. Designated contract markets or swap execution facilities that are not registered or required to be registered with the CFTC received relief from the requirement to keep electronic text messages in an identifiable and searchable form. (5/22/2014) CFTC Letter No. 14-72.

Streamlined CPO registration relief granted. No action relief from the requirement to register as a commodity pool operator was granted under the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight’s new streamlined procedures. (5/16/2014) CFTC Letter No. 14-71.

Registration relief extended for trading platform. The Division of Market Oversight extended to August 15, 2014, the conditional time-limited relief provided to Australian-based trading platform Yieldbroker Pty Limited. (5/14/2014) CFTC Letter No. 14-70.

Other Developments

Acting chair wants to reconsider swaps rule reach. According to the Wall Street Journal, acting CFTC Chair Mark Wetjen wants the agency to rethink the CFTC’s 2013 guidance on the extent to which US swaps rules would apply to off-shore swaps transactions. (5/29/2014) Offshore reach.

Position limits roundtable. A roundtable discussion on the application of position limits for physical commodities will be held by CFTC staff on June 19, 2014. See CFTC press release. Those wishing to comment on the issues to be discussed at that roundtable may do so for three weeks beginning June 12, 2014. (5/29/2014) 79 FR 30762.

Incentives to trade. According to Bloomberg, the CFTC has asked derivatives traders for information on the discounts they receive from exchanges. (5/29/2014) Incentives.

Whistleblower award. The first whistleblower award given by the CFTC under the Dodd-Frank Act was announced. The award was approximately US$240,000. (5/20/2014) CFTC press release.