Due to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19, NFA temporarily suspended its fingerprinting services in March. NFA understands that this action, along with the measures taken by federal, state and local governments to restrict the movement of, and contact among, individuals, makes it difficult for individuals to obtain fingerprints and comply with both CFTC and NFA fingerprinting requirements. To address this issue, NFA filed a letter with the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) seeking temporary relief from these requirements.

On April 24, 2020, DSIO issued a no-action letter granting temporary relief to registrants and applicants for registration listing a principal, and for applicants for associated person (AP) registration, from the fingerprinting requirements in CFTC Regulations 3.10(a)(2) (for natural person principals) and 3.12(c)(3) (for APs). The CFTC’s relief is conditioned on:

  • The registrant or applicant for registration listing the principal or sponsoring the AP conducting a criminal history background check that would reveal all matters listed under Sections 8a(2)(D) or 8a(3)(D), (E), or (H) of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA);
  • The registrant or applicant for registration submitting a certification to NFA that it completed the background check and that it did not disclose any matters that constitute a disqualification under Sections 8a(2) or 8a(3) of the CEA; and
  • The registrant or applicant for registration maintaining records documenting the completion and results of the background check, in accordance with CFTC Regulation 1.31.

Persons relying on this relief will be required to submit the required fingerprints to NFA within thirty days of NFA announcing the resumption of fingerprint processing.

NFA Registration Rules 204(a)(2)(A) and 206(a)(1)(A) impose similar fingerprinting requirements for natural person principals of registrants and applicants for registration and AP applicants, respectively. Therefore, NFA is providing temporary relief from these requirements for registrants and applicants for registration that satisfy the requirements of the CFTC’s no-action letter.