Release: #4064-97

October 17, 1997


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning consultation and cooperation in the administration and enforcement of futures and options laws with the German Bundesaufsichtsamt für den Wertpapierhandel (BAWe), Germany's federal securities and futures regulator. The MOU was signed at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. by Chairperson Brooksley Born on behalf of the CFTC and President Georg Wittich on behalf of the BAWe.

According to the MOU, the CFTC and BAWe recognize "increased international activity in futures and options transactions" and acknowledge "the need for mutual cooperation to facilitate the administration and enforcement of futures and options laws applicable in their respective jurisdictions."

In this light, the MOU provides a framework for the exchange of assistance between the authorities to the fullest extent permitted by U.S. and German law. The assistance includes providing access to information in the files of CFTC and BAWe, taking statements, obtaining information and documents, and conducting compliance inspections and investigations of futures transactions and futures businesses.

In commenting on the CFTC's latest enforcement MOU, CFTC Chairperson Born stated: "The MOU with the BAWe continues the CFTC's long tradition of information sharing arrangements with international authorities. We view cooperative arrangements to be a key component of an effective enforcement program. As internationalization continues to define world markets, regulators cannot rely solely on their own authority to supervise and to police financial activity within their borders. Cooperative arrangements, such as the one undertaken today, are cornerstones in meeting the twin mandates of market integrity and customer protection with which our respective agencies have been charged."

BAWe President Wittich, commenting on the BAWe's latest enforcement MOU, stated: "This MOU memorializes the partnership between the BAWe and the CFTC, and lays a solid framework for our continued work in addressing tomorrow's challenges."

The CFTC has cooperative enforcement arrangements with authorities in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada (Ontario and Quebec), France, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. It is also authorized to request assistance from Switzerland under the US-Swiss treaty on mutual assistance in criminal matters. The BAWe has cooperative enforcement arrangements with authorities in three jurisdictions.