Coronavirus

Message from the Chairman

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is providing this dedicated website to highlight the Commission’s actions related to COVID-19. During this challenging period, the CFTC remains squarely focused on its mission to promote the integrity, resilience, and vibrancy of the U.S. derivatives markets through sound regulation.

COVID-19 Commission Action

The CFTC has taken action through official rulemakings and temporary, targeted no-action relief to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts are designed to help facilitate orderly trading and liquidity in the U.S. derivatives markets as well as to allow market participants to implement lifesaving social distancing measures. All official actions by the Commission due to COVID-19 are listed below.

Citation

Date

Commission Action

CFTC Letter No. 20-02 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Members of Designated Contract Markets and Swap Execution Facilities (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)

CFTC Letter No. 20-03

3/17/2020

Temporary Relief for Futures Commission Merchants and Introducing Brokers (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)

CFTC Letter No. 20-04 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Floor Brokers (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-05  3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-06 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Swap Dealers (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-07 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Swap Execution Facilities (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-08 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Swap Execution Facilities (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-09 3/17/2020 Temporary Relief for Designated Contract Markets (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
85 FR 19878 3/18/2020 Extension of Relief for Initial Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps (See Further Extension Relief Below, Exp. Sept. 1, 2021)
*CFTC Letter No. 20-10 3/20/2020 Temporary Relief for an Insured Depository Institution Permitting Certain Commodity Swaps to be Excluded in the Major Swap Participant Registration Threshold Calculation
CFTC Letter No. 20-11 3/20/2020 Temporary Relief for Commodity Pool Operators (Exp. Jul. 15, 2020)
CFTC Letter No. 20-12 3/31/2020 Temporary Relief for Foreign Brokers Exempt Pursuant to Commission Regulation 30.5 to Handle U.S. Futures Market Orders (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)
85 FR 22690 4/10/2020 Extension of Certain Comment Periods in Response to COVID-19
CFTC Letter No. 20-15 4/23/2020 Temporary Relief for Futures Commission Merchants and Introducing Brokers to Address Net Capital Treatment of Covered Loans under the CARES Act (Exp. Sept. 1, 2020)

CFTC Letter No. 20-16

4/24/2020 Temporary Relief for Persons Required to Submit Fingerprints in Connection with Applying for Registration as an Associated Person or Being Listed as a Principal of a Registrant (Exp. Jul. 23, 2020)
85 FR 41346 5/28/2020 Further Extension of Relief for Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps (Exp. Sept. 1, 2021)

CFTC Letter No. 20-20

7/14/2020 Further Extension of Relief Provided in Letter 20-16. (Exp. Sept. 30, 2020)

*Subsequently withdrawn by requesting party.

COVID-19 Advisories & Articles

Customer Advisory: Be on Alert for Frauds Seeking to Profit from Market Volatility Related to COVID-19

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission advises the public to be on alert for frauds seeking to profit from recent market volatility related to COVID-19. Fraudsters commonly use major news events, such as the spread of COVID-19, to add credibility to their cons or manipulate emotions. You can better protect yourself by learning to recognize common mental biases that everyone has, as well as common fraud tactics—and by taking a few preventative steps. Reporting frauds you encounter can also help protect others during these challenging times. Learn more here.

Customer Advisory: Beware of Fee Scams Targeting Workers Sidelined by COVID-19

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission advises the public that unregistered brokers selling binary options, foreign exchange (forex) programs, and cryptocurrencies are targeting people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. The scams are primarily conducted on social media and via messaging apps. The fraudsters convince their victims they can earn unrealistically high profits from home, but later force the victims to pay excessive “fees” and “taxes” to get their supposed earnings. The profits are not real and the fraudsters disappear when the victims stop paying. Learn more here.

Article: Isolated? Don’t Make Snap Investment Decisions

Social isolation and financial strain can make people more vulnerable to fraud. If someone approaches you with an investment or trading opportunity, consider running it by someone you know and trust first. Learn more here.

Staff Advisory: Risk Management and Market Integrity under Current Market Conditions

DMO, DCO, and DSIO issued this advisory to remind DCMs, FCMs, and DCOs that they are expected to prepare for the possibility that certain contracts may continue to experience extreme market volatility, low liquidity and possibly negative pricing. Learn more here.

Customer Advisory: Learn About Risks Before Investing in Commodity ETPs or Funds

Trading vehicles that use futures contracts or other commodity interests may be organized as exchange-traded products or mutual funds, but that does not necessarily mean they will behave like traditional exchange-traded funds or mutual funds that invest in stocks, bonds or other asset classes. Learn more here.

Article: Don’t be Re-Victimized by Recovery Frauds

During COVID-19, be on alert for recovery frauds. If you have fallen victim to a fraud, offers to recover your lost funds can turn out to be just another scam. Here are the warning signs you should look for and tips to help you avoid recovery frauds. Learn more here.

Article: 6 Steps to Take after Discovering Fraud

Have you fallen victim to a fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic? These steps can help protect you from further theft, inform you about how to lodge a fraud complaint, and offer guidance to avoid fraud in the future.  Learn more here.

Customer Advisory: Beware of Gold and Silver Schemes Designed to Drain Your Retirement Savings

Some unregistered gold and silver dealers are advising investors to use relaxed retirement plan distribution rules in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to buy precious metals. But customers should talk to qualified retirement, tax, or legal advisors first.  Learn more here.

What is Coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness along with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Learn how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma and COVID-19, what to do if you are sick, and frequently asked questions by visiting www.coronavirus.gov.