Housekeeping, Reminders and Updates – October 2017

Written by:

Mark E. Ruddy, Esq.
Maria Fielding

 

Increase in National Futures Association (“NFA”) Assessment Fee

The NFA’s Executive Committee is recommending an increase in the NFA’s assessment fee beginning January 1, 2018. The Executive Committee voted in favor of recommending that the assessment fee increases from $0.01 per side to $0.02 per side for futures and options contracts, bringing the assessment fee back to its amount prior to being reduced in October 2014 to $0.01. The NFA maintains that an increase in the assessment fee is necessary in order to continue operations and maintain reserves properly. The recommended increase is currently pending approval by the NFA’s Board of Directors and the CFTC.

The NFA issued Notice to Members I-17-20, which provides further information on assessment fee increase.

NFA Releases Filing Instructions for Swap Dealer (“SD”) Dispute Notices and Monthly SD Risk Data Reports

On October 2, 2017, the NFA released Notice to Members I-17-19 detailing information regarding the submission of SD dispute notices that are required to be filed on or after January 2, 2018 and monthly Risk Data Reports. More information on which swap valuation disputes must be reported can be found in the NFA’s Interpretive Notice to NFA Compliance Rule 2-49. The Risk Data Reports will be required to be filed on a monthly basis with the first Risk Data Report as of December 29, 2017 being due January 31, 2018. The Risk Data Reports are being implemented in order for the NFA to more effectively monitor possible heightened risks.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Releases Primer on Virtual Currencies

On October 17, 2017, the CFTC’s LabCFTC released its first of a series of primers intended to provide information regarding emerging technologies within the financial realm. LabCFTC’s first primer is available in PDF form and focuses on virtual currencies.

LabCFTC was launched earlier this year with the goal of facilitating the relationship between financial technology innovators and the CFTC in the hopes that a mutually beneficial environment of information sharing will more seamlessly merge newer technologies with regulations.

More details about LabCFTC and its primer series can be found within the CFTC Press Release pr7631-17.

CFTC Clearinghouse Liquidity Stress Test Results

On October 16, 2017, the CFTC issued a report regarding the results of their most recent clearinghouse stress test. The focus of the test involved assessing whether three clearinghouses would be able to meet their settlement obligations on time in the case of a possible, extreme market scenario. The test resulted in all three of the clearinghouses being able to successfully fulfill their settlement obligations on time. The CFTC cautions, however, that these results are not indicative of whether individual clearinghouses would be able to fulfill their settlement obligations in a timely matter barring a similar real-world scenario. The CFTC also states that this stress test and its results do not imply any clearinghouse liquidity standards or address any other liquidity issues outside of the clearinghouse’s ability to meet settlement obligations on time.

Further details on the methodology of the stress test and its findings can be found within the CFTC Press Release pr7630-17.

For further information about any of the topics covered, please feel free to contact Ruddy Gregory, PLLC (www.ruddylaw.com) or 202-797-0762.