SPEECHES & TESTIMONY

Statement of Chairman Timothy Massad on the Trade Options Final Rule

March 16, 2016

Today, the CFTC has taken another important step to address the concerns of commercial end-users who rely on the derivatives markets to hedge risk—and who, we should always remember, did not cause the financial crisis. Trade options are a type of commodity option primarily used in the agricultural, energy and manufacturing sectors. Today, the Commission has finalized some amendments to its rules that recognize trade options are different from the swaps that are the focus of the Dodd-Frank reforms. These changes will reduce the burdens on these commercial businesses and allow them to better address commercial risk.

The action we have taken today will eliminate any potential obligation of commercial participants, who are not swap dealers (SD) or major swap participants (MSP), to report trade options to a swap data repository. We also have eliminated the requirement that these entities must report their trade option activities on “Form TO,” and we have eliminated Form TO altogether. Further, we have ended the swap-related recordkeeping requirements for these end-users in connection with their trade option activities, although when transacting in trade options with SDs or MSPs, they will need to obtain a legal entity identifier. These changes will reduce burdens and costs for trade option counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs and, in particular, for smaller end-users.

We also have decided not to impose a requirement in the proposed rule that a commercial participant would need to provide notice to the Commission of its trade options activities if such activities have a value of more than $1 billion in any calendar year. This followed careful consideration of the benefits of such information to the Commission, as compared with the difficulties commercial end-users would face in valuating, tracking, and classifying their trade options.

I’m pleased that today we have addressed some reasonable concerns of commercial end-users who are the critical users of the derivatives markets. This is just one of the many actions we have taken in this regard. We will continue to evaluate our rules with an eye towards the concerns of these businesses. I thank my fellow Commissioners for supporting today’s action.

Last Updated: March 16, 2016