CFTC extends work-from-home relief rules to September 30
US derivatives market regulator CFTC has announced that a number of the “no-action relief” rules it put into place in March in light of the reality of the Coronavirus will be extended through at least to the end of Q3. The rules relief which was scheduled to expire on June 30 will now run to (at least) September 30, 2020.
On March 17 the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) granted targeted, temporary relief to a broad spectrum of market participants to support orderly trading and liquidity as they implemented social distancing measures – meaning, enabling regulated entities such as Retail FX dealers and futures brokers to continue operating, while most of their personnel are working from home.
“This time-limited extension recognizes the reality that work-from-home arrangements are likely going to be commonplace for the foreseeable future,” said DSIO Director Joshua Sterling and DMO Director Dorothy DeWitt. “During this extended period, however, we expect that registrants will take the necessary steps to come into full compliance with CFTC regulations, such as those related to voice recordings and time-stamps.”
“When the national emergency and pandemic were declared in March, the CFTC quickly pivoted its resources to take this crisis head on,” added Chairman Heath P. Tarbert. “There is little doubt that the flexibility we have provided helped derivatives markets function as shock absorbers during the periods of extreme volatility caused by the pandemic. I am proud of the bipartisan efforts of the Commission to respond to this crisis as well as the hard work by our talented and dedicated staff.”
The rules relief covers issues such as oral communication and recording of such communications, time stamping, and the filing of compliance reports.
The CFTC’s DSIO said that it further expects that as Covid-19 related risks decrease, registrants will return to compliance with all regulatory obligations from which relief has been provided.
The initial relief letter issued on March 17 to Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers (RFEDs) can be seen here (pdf).