Concurring Statement regarding the Proposed Customer Protection Rulemaking

Commissioner Jill E. Sommers

October 22, 2012

Today the Commission has proposed a new set of rules to, among other things, increase customer protections and disclosures, strengthen risk management programs, and enhance auditing and examination procedures for futures commission merchants (FCMs). In light of the recent events surrounding MF Global and Peregrine, I am, of course, supportive of such steps to the extent that they lead to greater customer protection and increased customer awareness of the risks associated with their futures and swaps accounts.

As always, I am sensitive to the fact that some regulation, while well intended, may not further its stated goals or may be so burdensome that the benefits do not justify the costs. I encourage members of the public to comment, both to support the aspects of this proposed rule that take appropriate steps towards achieving the Commission's objectives and to highlight the areas of the proposal that they believe may be unnecessary or that could be accomplished through more efficient means. In particular, I welcome comment on the Commission's proposal requiring an FCM to maintain residual interest in segregated accounts in an amount that exceeds the sum of all futures customers' margin deficits. Additionally, it would be helpful to hear from self-regulatory organizations (SROs) regarding whether reviews by an examinations expert would assist the SROs in the application of their respective supervisory programs.

I am hopeful that, with the help of thoughtful recommendations from market participants, the Commission will finalize an effective and streamlined rule improving protections for futures and swaps customers.

Last Updated: October 23, 2012