CFTC Staff Issue Interpretive Guidance on Customer Margin Deposits

On October 23rd, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight issued an interpretation of Regulations 1.22, 22.2 and 30.7 providing that a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) may credit a customer’s trading account for a margin payment upon the FCM’s initiation of a withdrawal from the customer’s bank account using the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) payment processing system. The interpretation also provides that an FCM may include pending ACH payments as margin funds received in computing the FCM’s undermargined capital charge under Regulation 1.17. CFTC Press Release.

CFTC Proposes Clarifications to Auditor Disqualification Rules

On October 23rd, the CFTC published for comment proposed amendments to Part 14 of its regulations under which it may deny, temporarily or permanently, the privilege of certain persons to appear or practice before it. The amendment clarifies the CFTC’s standard for determining when an accountant has engaged in “unethical or improper professional conduct” which has been established as a basis for denying the accountant the privilege of appearing or practicing before the CFTC. The proposed amendment generally tracks SEC Rule 102(e), in which the SEC has elaborated its standard for determining when an accountant engages in “improper professional conduct” by specifying three types of violative conduct. Comments should be submitted on or before November 24, 2014. 79 FR 63343.

Tone at the Top

On October 23rd, Risk.net provided examples of what it views as CFTC Chair Timothy Massad’s more conciliatory and pragmatic approach to regulation. Tone at the Top.

Manitoba Enters into Information Sharing Agreement with CFTC

On October 21st, the CFTC announced that the Manitoba Securities Commission has joined an information sharing arrangement between the CFTC and certain Canadian provinces. The Memorandum of Agreement provides for the cooperation and the exchange of information in the supervision and oversight of regulated entities that operate on a cross-border basis in the U.S. and the signatory Canadian provinces. CFTC Press Release.