Release Number 8142-20

March 31, 2020

CFTC Provides Further Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) today announced that it has issued additional targeted, temporary no-action relief to foreign affiliates of certain futures commission merchants (FCMs) in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The relief expires on September 30, 2020.

“The CFTC will continue to provide targeted, temporary relief to market participants where appropriate,” said DSIO Director Joshua Sterling. “This action bolsters our efforts to facilitate orderly trading and liquidity in our derivatives markets during this volatile period. We encourage market participants to engage with the CFTC early and often as market developments continue to unfold.”

The pandemic has caused compliance with certain CFTC requirements to be particularly challenging or impossible because of displacement of personnel from normal business sites due to social distancing and other measures.  Subject to the conditions stated in the letter, the relief provided is as follows:

  • DSIO has granted temporary, targeted no-action relief to permit certain foreign affiliates of FCMs that are exempt from registration with the Commission by CFTC Regulation 30.5 to accept orders from U.S. persons for execution on U.S. contract markets in the event an affiliated FCM’s U.S. personnel are unable to handle the order flow of U.S. customers due to their absence from normal business sites. [See CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-12]