Steps to Expedite Wind Down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

On August 17, Treasury announced modifications to the Preferred Stock Purchase Agreements between Treasury and the FHFA to expedite the wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The modifications include: (i) the accelerated wind down of the retained mortgage investment portfolios at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; (ii) an annual taxpayer protection plan; and (iii) a full income sweep of all future Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac earnings to benefit taxpayers.  Treasury ReleaseFHFA Release.   

CFTC Proposed Order on Non-Financial Energy Derivative Transactions

On August 17, the CFTC approved a proposed order that would exempt some non-financial energy derivative transactions between government-owned electric utilities and cooperatively-owned electric utilities from most of the requirements of the Commodity Exchange Act.  Comments are requested within 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.  CFTC Release.    

CFTC Conforming Rule on Registration of Intermediaries

On August 17, the CFTC approved a final rule to conform the CFTC’s existing intermediary registration rules to changes made to the Commodity Exchange Act by the Dodd-Frank ActCFTC Release.    

OCC Proposed Annual Stress Test Reporting Requirements for Large Covered Institutions

On August 16, pursuant to Section 165(i)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act, the OCC issued a notice of a proposed information collection regarding annual stress test reporting for Covered Institutions with total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more.  Comments on the notice must be submitted by October 15.  OCC Release.   FPRA Notice.   

CFTC Proposed Clearing Exemption for Swaps Between Affiliates

On August 16, the CFTC proposed an exemption from clearing requirements under Section 723 of the Dodd-Frank Act for swaps between certain affiliated entities within a corporate group.  The proposed exemption would be limited to swaps between majority-owned affiliates and would require centralized risk management, swap trading relationship documentation, variation margin payments, and satisfaction of certain reporting requirements.  Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted within 30 days of publication in the Federal Register.  CFTC ReleaseCFTC Proposed Rule.   

NFA Approves Amendments to Customer Funds Reporting Requirements

On August 16, the National Futures Association (NFA) approved amendments to NFA Financial Requirements that will require a futures commissions merchant (FCM) to provide its Designated SRO with view-only access via the internet to account information for each of the FCM’s customer segregated funds accounts maintained and held at a bank or trust company.  Designated SROs would be able to review this information at any time against an FCM’s daily segregation report.  The amendments have been sent to the CFTC for approval.  NFA Release.   

Agency Proposed Rule on Appraisals for Higher-Risk Mortgages

On August 15, the Fed, CFPB, FDIC, FHFA, NCUA, and OCC issued a proposed rule to establish new appraisal requirements for “higher-risk mortgage loans”.  The proposed rule would implement amendments to the Truth in Lending Act enacted by the Dodd-Frank Act, which classify mortgage loans as higher-risk if they are secured by a consumer's home and have interest rates above a certain threshold.  Comments must be submitted by October 15.  Joint ReleaseProposed Rule.    

CFTC No-Action Letter on Trade Option Exemption

On August 15, the CFTC issued a no-action letter providing that, for a limited time, market participants can rely on the trade option exemption in CFTC regulation 32.3 without complying with specified provisions.  The no-action letter is effective until the earlier of December 31 and the effective date of any final action taken by the CFTC on the trade option exemption interim final rules.  CFTC Release.    

CFTC DSIO Issues FAQ on CPO and CTA Compliance

On August 14, the CFTC Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued a set of responses to frequently asked questions regarding compliance obligations for commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisers.  The issues addressed include compliance dates, wholly owned subsidiaries, trading limits, and the process for transitioning from an exemption from registration to registering or claiming another exemption.  CFTC ReleaseCFTC Proposed Rule.   

CFPB Proposed Mortgage Servicing Guidelines

On August 10, the CFPB announced two notices of proposed rulemaking regarding mortgage servicing.  The proposed rules relate to: (i) monthly mortgage statements; (ii) warnings before interest rate adjustments; (iii) force-placed insurance; (iv) early outreach for delinquent borrowers; (v) prompt crediting of payments; (vi) accurate information management; (vii) error resolution and information requests; (viii) direct and ongoing access to servicer personnel; and (ix) evaluation for alternatives to foreclosure.  Comments must be submitted by October 9.  CFPB Release.    

SEC Extension of Rule on Retail Forex Transactions

On August 10, the SEC amended interim final temporary Rule 15b12-1T under the Securities Exchange Act, which temporarily permits a broker-dealer to engage in a “retail forex business”, to extend its expiry date from July 16, 2012 to July 16, 2013.  Comments on the interim final temporary rule should be received on or before October 31.  SEC Extension.