Regulatory Relief

Yieldbroker’s SEF Registration Relief Extended

On February 12th, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (“CFTC”) Division of Market Oversight issued a no­action letter extending the conditional time­limited relief provided to the Australian­based trading platform Yieldbroker Pty Limited from the requirements to register as a swap execution facility. The relief will now expire on May 15, 2015 provided certain conditions are met. Yieldbroker operates a multilateral trading platform in Australia which brings together multiple third­party buying and selling interests in swaps. Yieldbroker currently permits direct access to U.S. persons to transact in swaps on its platform. CFTC Press Release.

Time­Limited Relief from the OCR Final Rule

On February 10th, the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight issued a no­action letter providing additional time for reporting parties to comply with certain reporting requirements of the ownership and control final rule. The rule requires the electronic submission of trader identification and market participant data on new and updated reporting forms. The relief provides reporting parties additional time to inform their clients regarding the information that reporting parties must collect and submit on the forms. It also provides time­limited no­action relief for reporting parties from the requirement to file the forms electronically. The relief is subject to certain terms and conditions. CFTC Press Release.

Other Developments

Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee to Meet

The CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on February 26, 2015. The meeting will focus on the CFTC’s proposed rules seeking to implement position limits and how these proposals will impact energy and environmental markets. CFTC Press Release.

Chair Massad Discusses Agency Agenda

On February 12th, Agri Pulse summarized the testimony of CFTC Chair Timothy Massad before the House Agriculture Committee. The CFTC continues to review the bona fide hedging exemption to the position limit rule for physical commodities. Additional agency agenda items include the adoption of rules for clearing standardized swaps and harmonizing U.S. rules with those of foreign countries. Massad Testimony.

HFT Practices May Run Afoul of CEA

On February 12th, Market Watch discussed a recent study conducted by Greg Scopino of the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight. The study, published in the Connecticut Law Review, concludes that certain high­frequency trading practices may violate the Commodity Exchange Act. Questionable Activities.

Retail Forex Review

On February 11th, the Wall Street Journal summarized the testimony of CFTC Chair Timothy Massad before the House Appropriations Committee. Massad said that his agency is reviewing its rules for retail foreign exchange operators after FXCM, Inc. nearly collapsed in the wake of the unexpected rise of the Swiss franc. Testimony.