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On May 14, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it is launching an initiative designed to transform the digital platform used by firms to engage with FINRA across a variety of programs. The Digital Experience Transformation (the “Initiative”) is an effort to integrate and simplify the digital interactions between brokerage firms and FINRA. The Initiative aims to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness of compliance programs.…
On May 8, the Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued its first public enforcement manual (the “Enforcement Manual”). The Enforcement Manual explains the roles of the CFTC and Division generally, and outlines certain general policies and procedures that guide the Division in its investigation and prosecution of violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations.…
On April 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved a final rule revising CFTC Regulation 160.5. The amended rule implements the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’s (FAST Act) December 2015 statutory amendment to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB Act) by providing an exception to the requirement that certain futures commission merchants, retail foreign exchange dealers, commodity trading advisors, commodity pool operators, introducing brokers, major swap participants and swap dealers (each, a “covered person”) to provide annual…
On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission published a notice to solicit comments on Amendment No. 2 to a proposed rule change filed by the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC also approved the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 2, on an accelerated basis.…
Recognizing the need for guidance as to the application of US federal securities law for those considering an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), or otherwise engaging in the offer, sale or distribution of a digital asset, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets. The Framework represents the views of the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub) and is designed to provide additional guidance in areas…
On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance (the “Division”) responded to TurnKey Jet, Inc.’s (TKJ) letter dated April 2, requesting confirmation that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC in connection with its offer and sale of tokens without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In issuing its response that it would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC,…
On May 25, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted an interim final rule designed to provide greater certainty to the global marketplace in the event of a “no-deal Brexit.” In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated withdrawal agreement, affected swap dealers and major swap participants may be required to transfer certain uncleared swaps that were entered into before the relevant compliance dates under the CFTC Margin Rule or Prudential Margin…
On March 25, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted an amendment to the definition of a swap dealer found in CFTC Rule 1.3 to allow certain insured depository institutions (IDIs) to provide risk mitigating swaps to customers in connection with the origination of loans without counting the swaps towards their de minimis threshold. Under CFTC Rule 1.3, an entity that would otherwise be required to be registered as a swap dealer is exempt from registration…
On March 27, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Intelligence Branch in the Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a report analyzing the entering of manual and automatic orders in commodity futures markets in the United States to determine how technological change is affecting futures trading. DMO staff used internal CFTC transactional data for 30 futures contracts during the period January 2013 – December 2018, and examined what effect the order placement mechanism had on…
On March 28, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it has unanimously approved two final rule amendments designed to ease registrants’ regulatory burdens. Both final rule proposals originated from the CFTC’s Project KISS Initiative, which is intended to simplify and reduce burdens by revisiting our rules based on staff implementation experience and public comment. The two rule amendments will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and are detailed below:…