NFA Trade Execution Audit: Are you Prepared?

One of the trends we have identified during recent audits of Introducing Brokers (“IBs”) is that National Futures Association, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and CME Group examiners are becoming increasingly granular about their testing of trade execution record keeping. In particular, we are seeing attempts to evaluate how brokerage firms are able to “recreate the trade”.

CFTC, NFA Third Party Service Provider Obligations

In February, NFA adopted an Interpretive Notice entitled “NFA Compliance Rules 2-9 and 2-36: Members’ Use of Third-Party Service Providers” which will become effective September 30, 2021. This notice is the first time NFA has publicly laid out its expectations for how member firms outsource certain of their company functions. It is important to recognize that NFA has not prohibited any registrant or member firm from outsourcing any function. Rather, they have set standards for what they believe reasonable outsourcing risks should and could look like.

Branch Office Supervision – Post Covid

For the last several years both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and National Futures Association (“NFA”) have been reconsidering rules and regulations surrounding outside office supervision. The idea that registrants will always work from a static main office location is simply outdated. With the advent of remote working technology, and trading exchanges going almost entirely electronic, Associated Persons (“APs”) can work form just about anywhere. This begs the question; Does it really make sense for every AP that works away from an official company address to still be required to obtain the Series 30 license? The series 30 is still required under both CFTC regulation and NFA rule, however, it’s possible Covid my force regulators to rethink this obligation.