Explanatory Notes

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 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 commodity market position. 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 a market 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 the respective market.

In addition, the BPR is based on the same large-trader reporting system database used to generate the popular Commitments of Traders Report (COT), and to monitor regulated futures, options and swaps markets. The BPR’s “U.S. Bank” and “Non-U.S. Bank” trader classifications are based on traders’ responses to questions from the CFTC Form 40 and subject to staff approval.  Each trader files the CFTC Form 40 upon first becoming reportable; and if the trader remains reportable, approximately every two years or upon CFTC request. When filing a CFTC Form 40, each reportable trader self-indicates the business sectors and subsectors that pertain to its business activities or occupation. It’s important to note, if more than one business subsector is selected, the CFTC Form 40 requests traders to indicate which business subsector primarily describes the nature of the reporting trader’s business.

Furthermore, if a reportable trader is determined to be a U.S. Commercial Bank or 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.  In such cases, 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 as-of report or data date of the monthly BPR is typically the first Tuesday of each month, while website publication generally occurs on the first Friday shortly after 3:30 ET.  However, when the first Tuesday of the month is a Federal Holiday then the report will utilize the subsequent Tuesday’s data and be published on the Commission’s website the following Friday. For more information regarding the BPR publication schedule please visit the BPR release schedule.

Note regarding historical BPRs. In compliance with Federal record requirements the CFTC only maintains BPR data for the most recent 25 months, which is posted on the Commission’s website.