CFTC 2020 Enforcement and Regulatory Developments and a Look Forward


2020 saw continuity in CFTC leadership, programs, and direction from 2019. Overall, the Commission enjoyed an unusually heavy rulemaking calendar and continued the direction of its enforcement program from 2019.

On the enforcement side, the Commission brought a record number of cases, broadly representative of the full breadth and scope of the markets and activities within the Commission’s jurisdictions. Spoofing remained a priority, with the Commission and the Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly resolving several significant spoofing matters in 2020, including the single largest settlement in Commission history. The Commission also brought its first action arising out of its foreign corruption initiative. In addition, the Commission brought a record number of retail fraud cases as well as meaningful actions regarding swap dealer compliance and digital asset intermediaries. Beyond these individual actions, the Commission also took several noteworthy steps to publicize and document the Division of Enforcement’s internal processes, including how it determines civil penalties and assesses corporate compliance programs.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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