CFTC and SEC Seek Public Input on the Timetable for Effective Dates of Final Rules to Implement Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act

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Earlier this week the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced that it will host, jointly with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a public roundtable to solicit market participants’ views on the effective dates of final rules to implement Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank or the Act) and a schedule for compliance with such rules. The CFTC also began accepting public comments on these issues via its Web site. These initiatives aim to ensure that market participants have sufficient time to develop policies, procedures, systems and processes needed to comply with the new regulatory requirements.

Both CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and CFTC General Counsel Dan Berkovitz cited the public roundtable and public comment period in response to concerns raised by lawmakers during Congressional oversight hearings held this week.1 Specifically, lawmakers voiced concern with the sequence in which the CFTC has proposed rules to implement Dodd-Frank and the volume of proposed rulemakings issued to date. According to lawmakers these issues have precluded market participants from meaningfully participating in the rulemaking process. Echoing a comment letter submitted to the CFTC and SEC by several market participants, lawmakers urged the CFTC to implement final rules in a meaningful and well thought-out way. Several other issues were also raised during the Congressional hearings, including:

-Inconsistencies between the CFTC’s proposed rules and those of other regulators. As examples, lawmakers cited the SEC’s proposed rules pertaining to swap execution facilities and proposed rules issued jointly by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Farm Credit Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (collectively referred to as the Prudential Regulators) that establish margin requirements for uncleared swaps. Both Chairman Gensler and General Counsel Berkovitz responded by citing the CFTC’s efforts to work with other regulators, including the SEC, the Prudential Regulators and foreign regulators. They also stated that the CFTC will continue to work with these other regulators to harmonize final rules, but noted that in some instances the CFTC’s rules will differ from other regulators’ rules due to differences in product characteristics.

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