Sarah R. Adams

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On August 8, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it has proposed rules pursuant to which a clearing organization located outside of the United States may obtain an exemption from registration as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) in order to provide swaps clearing services to certain US persons. The proposed rules codify the CFTC’s existing policies and procedures for granting such exemptions. To date, the CFTC has exempted four non-US clearing organizations from registration:…
On August 9, the National Futures Association (NFA) announced the effective date of its recently adopted Interpretive Notice, Disclosure Requirements for NFA Members Engaging in Virtual Currency Activities. The Interpretative Notice will go into effect on October 31 (“Effective Date”).…
On May 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a proposed rule to amend the CFTC’s margin requirements for uncleared swaps for swap dealers and major swap participants. The proposed rule amendments are intended to make the same changes to the CFTC margin requirements that federal banking regulators recently proposed for the margin rules for swap dealers that are subject to prudential regulation (for more information, please see the Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest edition
On May 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released a staff advisory that provides guidance to designated contract markets (DCMs) and swap execution facilities (SEFs) that plan to list virtual currency derivatives for trading and clearing organizations (DCOs) intending to clear virtual currency derivatives. The advisory notes that the CFTC’s recommendations are informed by the unique characteristics of virtual currencies that make obtaining information about the spot market difficult, including the fact that the commercial…
On May 15, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an order granting Australian Securities Exchange Limited (ASX24) registration as a foreign board of trade (FBOT). As a registered FBOT, ASX24 is authorized to permit members and other exchange participants to trade directly on its platform without having to trade through an intermediary. With this order, the CFTC has registered 19 foreign boards of trade from 12 countries. ASX24 previously offered direct access to US participants…
On May 21, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had signed a mutual cooperation agreement with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) to promote information sharing between the CFTC and state securities regulators. The agreement is designed to assist in the enforcement of the Commodity Exchange Act, which state securities regulators and state attorneys are statutorily authorized to do alongside the CFTC. Information shared under the agreement also could generate enforcement actions under…
On March 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission released an advisory regarding platforms used to trade digital assets. The SEC expressed concern that, in light of the rise in popularity of trading digital assets, including coins and tokens in initial coin offerings, investors could mistakenly believe that platforms used to trade such assets are registered with the SEC or are otherwise regulated.  In order to protect investors, the SEC indicated that it plans to focus…
On March 7, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority published Regulatory Notice 18-09, which expands the criteria FINRA will use to designate member firms that must participate in business continuity and disaster recovery testing (BC/DR testing). Regulation SCI requires FINRA to designate firms that must participate in BC/DR testing.  Regulatory Notice 18-09 indicates that the following firms must engage in BC/DR testing: firms that account for at least 5 percent or more of the average dollar…
On January 8, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its annual Regulatory and Examination Priority Letter detailing various issues that will be the subject of particular regulatory focus and scrutiny this year. Many of the areas noted are carry-overs from previous years, including the protection of senior investors and other retail customers, new product suitability reviews, and enhanced scrutiny of high-risk brokers. However, the letter also reflects various new issues that have caught FINRA’s…
On November 21, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued Regulatory Notice 17-40, which provides member firms guidance as it relates to compliance with Rule 3310 in light of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) adoption of Customer Due Diligence Requirements (CDD Rule).…