Guidance

Mandatory swaps trading. The CFTC discussed the steps it has taken to promote trading on swap execution facilities and assist in the transition to mandatory swaps trading, which began on February 15, 2014, for certain interest rate swaps. (2/10/2014) CFTC press release. 

Financial reporting requirements. Guidance has been provided by the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight to futures commission merchants and derivatives clearing organizations on the procedures for submitting acknowledgment letters for accounts holding customer funds and on other financial reporting requirements. (2/5/2014) CFTC press release. 

Regulatory Relief

European swaps facilities. Acting CFTC Chair Mark Wetjen and European Commissioner Michel Barnier announced significant progress towards harmonizing a regulatory framework for CFTC-regulated swap execution facilities (SEFs) and EU-regulated multilateral trading facilities (MTFs). CFTC staff issued a “Conditional No-Action Letter” which, if certain conditions are met, will provide no-action relief for: (1) qualifying MTFs from the CFTC’s SEF registration requirement; (2) parties executing swap transactions on qualifying MTFs from the CFTC’s trade execution mandate; and (3) swap dealers and major swap participants executing swap transactions on qualifying MTFs from certain requirements under the CFTC’s business conduct rules. A separate short-term no-action letter also provides limited relief for all registered MTFs through March 24, 2014. (2/12/2014) CFTC press release. 

Australian firm receives relief from DCO registration requirement. For a limited time, the Division of Clearing and Risk will not recommend enforcement action against the Australian-based clearing organization, ASX Clear (Futures) Pty Limited for failing to register as a derivatives clearing organization. (2/6/2014) CFTC press release. 

Other Developments

Amendment to DCO registration rule proposed. Comments are sought on the petition from LCH.Clearnet Ltd for an amendment to and consolidation of its orders of registration as a derivatives clearing organization. Comments should be submitted by February 26, 2014. (2/11/2014) CFTC press release.