Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and National Futures Association (“NFA”) have been releasing guidance about their expectations for how firms grapple with Covid-19.  Turnkey has taken the time to gather this information into one place for our clients. As we become aware of new information impacting CFTC registrants and NFA member firms we’ll add it to this page. All FCMs, IBs, CTAs, and CPOs should bookmark this URL or sign up for our monthly newsletter for the latest updates. We’ll include the latest information pertaining to commodity futures, options, forex, and swap trading on a rolling basis (latest updates first!) with an easy to read summary. Please stay safe! This too shall pass!

 

March 26, 2020 – Regulatory Relief for IBs

Summary: Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of independent IB Members have inquired whether NFA would extend the due date for upcoming filings. NFA understands that the current situation may make it difficult for independent IB Members to file their required financial filings within the specified time periods. Therefore, NFA is providing all independent IB Members with a 30-calendar day extension for filing certified financial reports for fiscal years ending in December 2019 through March 2020. NFA is also providing all independent IB Members with a 10-business day extension for filing the semi-annual, quarterly or monthly reports for reporting periods ending February through April 2020. This relief is automatic.

March 23, 2020 – Regulatory Relief for CPOs and CTAs

Summary: On March 20, 2020, the CFTC issued a no-action letter to commodity pool operators (CPO) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As discussed below, NFA is issuing similar relief from rules for CPO Members. Additionally, NFA is providing commodity trading advisor (CTA) Members with similar relief for NFA Form PR filings. See notice for exact filing deadline information.

March 20, 2020 – Increases in required forex minimum security deposits

Summary: Given the recent volatility in the currency markets, and the margin increases that CME and ICE have implemented with respect to foreign currency futures involving the Norwegian Krone – 7%, Mexican Peso – 10%. These increases become effective 5:00 p.m. CT on March 22, 2020 and remain in effect until further notice.

March 18, 2020 – Regulatory Relief for FCMs, IBs, SDs and FDMs

Summary: NFA issued similar relief from NFA requirements as the CFTC ‘s March 17, 2020 no-action relief letters to FCMs, IBs, SDs and FDMs that are designed to facilitate the separation of personnel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. NFA also provided FDMs a 30-day extension to the filing deadline for Chief Compliance Officer Annual Reports.

March 13, 2020 – Coronavirus Update—NFA Branch Office Requirements

Summary: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of Members are considering implementing contingencies pursuant to their business continuity plans that would permit employees, including registered APs, to temporarily work from the employee’s home or other remote locations that have not been listed as a branch office on the Member’s Form 7-R. Moreover, particularly in the situations where an AP is working from his or her home, there would be no designated branch manager at that location. Over the last several days, NFA has received a number of inquiries on whether these contingency plans—providing for APs to temporarily work from a location not listed as a branch office, without a branch manager—violate NFA’s branch office requirements.  NFA understands that the current situation may necessitate alternative work arrangements. NFA will not pursue a disciplinary action against a Member that permits APs to temporarily work from locations not listed as a branch office.

March 12, 2020 – CFTC Regulatory Reporting Requirements

Summary: NFA reminds swap dealer (SD) Members of their regulatory reporting obligations, including those pursuant to CFTC Regulation 23.603. In accordance with such regulatory reporting obligations, CFTC staff expects to be notified if an SD implements a teleworking plan or activates its Business Continuity Plan where such implementation or activation is for purposes other than testing.

March 4, 2020 – Information on Coronavirus/COVID-19

Summary: NFA is aware that Members are developing contingency plans to deal with the potential impact of the Coronavirus on their operations. In light of these preparations, we also understand that Members may have specific concerns regarding their ability to comply fully with CFTC and NFA regulatory requirements, particularly in the event that some or all of their staff are not able to work in Member firms’ offices or backup facilities. We have been coordinating with the various industry trade associations with respect to the potential areas of concern.