Bank Participation Report
Since the 1980s, the CFTC has provided, on a monthly basis, the U.S. banking authorities and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS, located in Basel, Switzerland) aggregate large-trader positions of banks participating in various financial and non-financial commodity futures. Since the BIS used some of this aggregate data in its own publications, beginning in the late ‘90s the CFTC has posted the “Bank Participation Report” (BPR) for public access on its website (cftc.gov).
Separate reports are generated for futures and for gross options (not delta adjusted). The as-of date of the monthly BPR is typically the first Tuesday of each month, and publication on the Commission’s website occurs on the following Thursday or Friday. The BPR includes data for every market where five or more banks hold reportable positions. The BPR breaks the banks’ positions into two categories—U.S. Banks and Non-U.S. Banks—and shows for each type their aggregate gross long and short market positions. For purposes of protecting the confidentiality of participants’ market positions (as required under §8(a) of the Commodity Exchange Act), when the number of banks in either category (U.S. Banks or Non-U.S. Banks) is less than four, the number of banks in each of the two categories is omitted and only the total number of banks is shown for that market.
The BPR is based on the same large-trader reporting system database that CFTC economists use to monitor large-trader activity in the regulated futures and options markets, and which also is used to generate the weekly Commitment of Traders (COT) report. The BPR’s “U.S. Bank” and “Non-U.S. Bank” trader classifications are based on the self-description of a trading entity on its CFTC Form 40. Each trader files that Form upon first becoming reportable and every two years the trader remains reportable, or more frequently upon CFTC request.
If any reportable trader is “commercially engaged in business activities hedged by use of the futures or option markets,” it enumerates its business activities on Schedule 1 of the Form 40. If on that Schedule the reportable trader describes itself as a U.S. Commercial Bank or as a Non-U.S. Commercial Bank in any one commodity, that designation is applied to its positions in all commodities published in the BPR. A given business enterprise may have one or more trading entity among which are a U.S Commercial Bank or a Non-U.S. Commercial Bank, or a non-bank. Each trading entity could be a separate reportable trader, which would file a separate Form 40. Only traders that are classified as either a U.S. Commercial Bank or a Non-U.S. Commercial Bank are reported in the BPR.
The CFTC does not maintain a history of BPR data except for the rolling most recent 25 months posted on the Commission’s website.