Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Summer K. Mersinger in Support of Final Rulemaking Amending Part 17 Large Trader Position Reporting Rules

April 30, 2024

I believe that it is incumbent upon the CFTC, like any regulatory agency, to continually review its rule set to evaluate whether rules are achieving their objectives, or can be improved based on experience over time, or need to be updated because they have simply failed to keep up with the times.  It is that last category that applies to the large trader position reporting rules for futures and options in Part 17 of the CFTC’s regulations.[1]

Astonishingly, the rule that sets forth the submission standard and data fields to be used in large trader reports has been in place since 1986, and has remained largely unchanged during the past two decades.  Any rule that outdated is a prime candidate for us to review.

The amendments being adopted to our Part 17 rules will help the agency to more efficiently utilize large trader data reporting.  They will remove references to outdated computer codes and will streamline the reporting process, allowing the agency to better manage the incoming data.

These data streams are critical not only for the CFTC’s performance of its market oversight responsibilities, but also for the agency’s popular Commitments of Traders (“COT”) reports.[2]  The COT reports are heavily relied upon by members of the public, but they have been a labor and time-intensive task for our staff for far longer than should have been the case, given the pace of technological developments since COT reports were first published in 1986.

Accordingly, I am pleased to support these amendments to the Part 17 rules.  But I do want to acknowledge that, as part of this update, we also are requiring the reporting of certain additional data elements that are not currently required to be reported under the rules as they exist today.  Commenters did not oppose these new data elements, although reporting firms did request clarifications on several of them.

I am disappointed that the discussion of these data elements in the final rulemaking does not go further in responding to these requests.  I appreciate the engagement that our staff has had with interested stakeholders to date.  But I want to stress that the door to further engagement must remain open throughout the compliance period for staff to provide requested guidance on how these new data elements are being interpreted.  After all, we can only justly enforce our rules when we have made our expectations clear to those who must comply with them.

I thank the staff for accommodating my comments on this important rulemaking, and for the hard work, dedication, and expertise they have demonstrated throughout the process.

[1] CFTC Rule 17.00, et seq.; 17 C.F.R. §17.00, et seq.

[2] COT reports can be found on the CFTC’s website at Commitments of Traders | CFTC.