The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today approved rule amendments and a new interpretive notice filed by the National Futures Association (NFA), the NFA proposed the rule amendments back in May which outlined critical changes in capital requirements, information disclosure and security deposits for U.S. based forex brokers. The heightened vigilance came in the aftermath of the Swiss Franc spike in January which saw FXCM dip below capital requirements before getting a life line loan from Leucadia National Corp.
The NFA is a registered futures association under section 17 of the Commodity Exchange Act, and is a self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry, including on-exchange traded futures, retail off-exchange foreign currency transactions, and swap transactions.
For better or worse, the NFA is one of the toughest regulators for brokers and another recent amendment to recently included that starting back on January, 2015 retail FX customers in the United States no longer were able to fund their accounts by credit card. The NFA’s proposals on credit card funding were swiftly approved by the CFTC.
The rule amendments and interpretive notice enhance protections afforded to retail customers of NFA Forex Dealer Members (FDMs) by, among other things:
1) Imposing additional capital requirements on FDMs.
2) Requiring FDMs to collect security deposits for off-exchange foreign currency transactions from eligible contract participant counterparties in addition to retail counterparties.
3) Requiring FDMs to adopt and implement rigorous risk management programs.
4) Requiring FDMs to provide additional market disclosures and firm-specific information on their websites to permit current and potential counterparties to better assess the risks of engaging in off-exchange foreign currency transactions and with conducting business with a particular FDM.
For more details on the new requirements see our original article when they were first proposed here.
To view the official announcement from the CFTC, click here.