Chairman Massad delivers keynote speech before Commodity Markets Council. US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Timothy Massad gave the keynote speech before the Commodity Markets Council. He discussed some recent actions taken by the CFTC in areas such as simplifying recordkeeping requirements and finalizing the rule setting margin requirements for uncleared swaps. Massad also discussed some of the issues on the CFTC’s agenda for the beginning of this year, which include finalizing proposed rule changes related to trade options as well as finalizing rules on position limits. (2/1/2016) Massad speech.

CFTC Enforcement

CFTC charges Oakmont Financial and its owner/principal with engaging in illegal, off-exchange precious metals transactions. The CFTC filed a civil injunctive enforcement action in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Defendants Oakmont Financial, Inc. and Joseph Charles DiCrisci, an Oakmont owner and principal. The CFTC charged defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined, or financed basis. The CFTC further alleged that DiCrisci managed, or controlled those who controlled, the day-to-day operations of Oakmont, and therefore, as controlling person for Oakmont, is liable for Oakmont’s violations of the CEA. (2/3/2016) CFTC press release.

Other Developments

CFTC grants registration to Eurex Clearing AG as a derivatives clearing organization. The CFTC has granted Eurex Clearing AG registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). Eurex will be authorized to provide clearing services for swaps for US clearing members as well as their customers under §5b of the CEA. The CFTC’s Division of Clearing and Risk has also provided no-action relief that permits Eurex Clearing to use a modified version of the acknowledgment letter required under CFTC Regulations 1.20(g)(4) and 22.5 for customer accounts maintained at the Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany. (2/1/2016) CFTC press release. CFTC Letter No. 16-04. CFTC Letter No. 16-05. Massad statement.

CFTC signs MOU with two German authorities in order to heighten supervision of cross-border clearing organizations. The CFTC announced that Chair Timothy Massad signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht and Deutsche Bundesbank concerning cooperation and the exchange of information in the management and oversight of clearing organizations that operate on a cross-border basis in the US and Germany. CFTC press release.

CFTC grants registration to 18 SEFs. The CFTC issued orders granting registration to 18 swap execution facilities (SEFs), which had previously been under temporary registration status. (1/22/2016) CFTC press release. Giancarlo statement.

CFTC launches Whistleblower Program’s Website. The CFTC launched the CFTC Whistleblower Program’s new Website, which offers an upgraded interface that educates the public about the Whistleblower Program and permits users to submit tips about potential violations of the CEA and apply for monetary awards. (1/21/2016) CFTC press release.