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Proposed Rule

Denomination of Customer Funds and Location of Depositories

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed rules.

SUMMARY:

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission” or “CFTC”) is proposing to adopt a new rule that would permit futures commission merchants and derivatives clearing organizations, under certain conditions, to deposit customer funds in foreign depositories and in certain currencies other than United States Start Printed Page 52642dollars. The Commission is also proposing to adopt an amendment to Appendix B of its bankruptcy rules that would govern the distribution of property where the bankrupt futures commission merchant or derivatives clearing organization maintains customer property in depositories outside the United States or in a foreign currency. This new distributional framework is intended to assure that customers whose funds are held in a United States depository will not be adversely affected by a shortfall in the pool of funds held in a depository outside the United States that is due to the sovereign action of a foreign government or court. The proposed rule would replace Financial and Segregation Interpretation No. 12.

DATES:

Comments on the proposed new rule and amendments must be received by October 15, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on the proposed rule should be sent to Jean A. Webb, Secretary, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW., Washington, DC 20581. Comments may be sent by facsimile transmission to (202) 418-5528, or by e-mail to secretary@cftc.gov. Reference should be made to “Foreign Depositories.”

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lawrence B. Patent, Deputy Director, or Michael A. Piracci, Attorney-Advisor, Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight, for further information regarding amendments to appendix B of part 190, contact Robert B. Wasserman, Associate Director, Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW., Washington, DC 20581. Telephone: (202) 418-5430.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

One of the most important functions of the Commodity Exchange Act (the “Act”) [1] and the rules thereunder is the protection of customer funds. Section 4d(a)(2) of the Act requires that every futures commission merchant (“FCM”):

treat and deal with all money, securities, and property received by such person to margin, guarantee, or secure the trades or contracts of any customer of such person, or accruing to such customer as the result of such trades or contracts, as belonging to such customer. Such money, securities, and property shall be separately accounted for and shall not be commingled with the funds of such commission merchant or be used to margin or guarantee the trades or contracts, or to secure or extend the credit, of any customer or person other than the one for whom the same are held.

Prior to 1988, the Commission, and its predecessor agency, the Commodity Exchange Authority, had construed this provision to require that customer funds deposited with an FCM relating to trading on a domestic exchange be held in the United States (“U.S.”), unless the funds were being held for a foreign-domiciled customer.[2] In light of the growing internationalization of the futures and options markets, the Commission in 1988 issued Financial and Segregation Interpretation No. 12 (“Interp. 12”),[3] which provided that, under certain conditions, an FCM may deposit segregated funds of customers domiciled in the U.S. in foreign depositories.

Interp. 12 permits FCMs to hold the funds of customers domiciled in the U.S. offshore if such funds are used to margin positions “in a contract traded on a domestic contract market that is priced and settled in a foreign currency or accrue to such a customer as a result of positions in such contracts.”[4] Interp. 12 requires that such funds be held in depositories that meet the criteria under Commission Rule 30.7(c) [5] and are located in the country of the applicable currency or a country with which the Commission has an information sharing arrangement. Additionally, FCMs and clearing organizations must obtain from the depository a written acknowledgement of the applicability of Commission regulations regarding the segregation of customer funds required under Commission Rule 1.20.

Under Interp. 12, before an FCM may deposit customer funds offshore, it must obtain an agreement from the customer that authorizes the deposit of the customer's funds into a foreign depository. The agreement must also authorize the “subordination of the customer's claim attributable to funds held offshore in a particular foreign currency to the claims of customers whose funds are held in [U.S.] dollars or other foreign currencies in the event the FCM is placed in bankruptcy or receivership and there are insufficient funds available for distribution from the funds held in the particular currency to satisfy all customer claims against those funds.”[6] The subordination applies if the insufficiency in funds was a result of the offshore account being underfunded or if all of the funds in the account could not be recovered. For example, the government of the foreign country where the funds are being held may freeze or confiscate the assets or the applicable bankruptcy laws may prevent the full recovery of the funds. An FCM must hold in segregation in the U.S. sufficient funds denominated in U.S. dollars to meet all U.S. dollar-denominated obligations to persons domiciled in the U.S., regardless of whether there are excess funds in segregation in a foreign currency-denominated account.

As stated above, when the Commission issued Interp. 12, it noted that the change in the Commission's interpretation concerning appropriate depositories for segregated customer funds was appropriate “in light of the growing internationalization of the futures and option markets.”[7] In the more than a dozen years since Interp. 12 was issued, the futures and options markets, along with almost all other segments of the business world, have seen greater internationalization. As a result, there is an increased need and desire of certain customers to be able to more easily conduct business in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

In the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (the “CFMA”),[8] Congress noted that “regulatory impediments to the operation of global interests can compromise the competitiveness of [U.S.] business” and that regulatory policy should be “flexible to account for rapidly changing derivatives industry practices.” [9] Due to restrictions placed on holding segregated funds offshore, U.S. markets and futures professionals may find themselves at a disadvantage Start Printed Page 52643to their foreign competitors. One of the purposes of the CFMA is to “enhance the competitive position of [U.S.] financial institutions and financial markets.” [10] Based upon the foregoing, the Commission is now proposing a rule to permit FCM obligations owed to customers to be denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar and to permit FCMs and derivatives clearing organizations (“DCOs”) to hold segregated customer funds in certain foreign depositories, subject to certain restrictions, but without requiring customers to sign a subordination agreement. The Commission previously solicited comments on possible rulemaking in this area.[11]

II. The Proposed New Rule and Amendments

A. Proposed New Rule 1.49

1. Permissible Currencies

The Commission is proposing to adopt Rule 1.49 to provide that FCM obligations owed to customers shall be held in: (1) U.S. dollars; (2) a currency in which funds were deposited by the customer, or converted to at the request of the customer, to the extent of such deposits and conversions; or (3) a currency in which funds have accrued to the customer as a result of trading on a designated contract market or registered derivatives transaction execution facility (“DTF”). Any customer would be able to deposit foreign currency with an FCM if the FCM permits it, not just those customers trading contracts priced and settled in a foreign currency.

As noted above, the internationalization of the futures markets has resulted in customers who, for many different reasons, want funds denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. If a customer or prospective customer of an FCM prefers to deposit funds with an FCM in a currency other than the U.S. dollar, or to convert funds from one currency to another, the FCM should not be prevented from accepting or holding funds in the preferred currency of the customer or prospective customer. An FCM may not convert customer funds from one currency to another without customer authorization. An account agreement could provide, however, that by placing an order in a contract settled in a particular currency, a customer agrees to convert to the appropriate currency funds sufficient to meet the applicable margin requirement. Under the proposed rule, an FCM would be required to prepare and maintain a written record each time customer funds were converted from one currency to another. The record must include the date the transaction was executed, the currencies converted, the amount converted, and the resulting amount.

The FCM will also be required to make the information contained in this record available to the customer upon the customer's request. The FCM may provide this information through any means agreed upon by the customer and FCM. Additionally, the Commission notes that, pursuant to Rule 1.33(a), the FCM must include this information in the monthly statements provided to the customer.

Another aspect of the internationalization of the futures and options markets is the increasing number of contracts offered on foreign financial instruments and indices. For example, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange offers a futures contract on the Nikkei Stock Average. These contracts are priced and settled in the currency of the underlying instrument or index. Accordingly, accruals resulting from trading in such instruments will be in currency other than U.S. dollars. Under the proposed rule, such accruals may be held in the applicable currency. A customer may, of course, request that such accruals be converted to U.S. dollars.

Currently, pursuant to Interp. 12, customers must authorize the deposit of foreign currency funds into foreign depositories as part of the subordination agreement. The Commission is proposing to eliminate this written authorization requirement.[12] If a customer deposits funds with an FCM in a currency other than U.S. dollars, or requests a conversion of funds to a non-U.S. dollar currency, the customer will be aware of the fact that the funds are being held in a currency other than U.S. dollars. With regard to funds other than U.S. dollars that have accrued to the customer as a result of trading in contracts priced and settled in a non-U.S. currency, the Commission notes that the specifications for contracts traded on designated contract markets are widely known and generally available.[13] Accordingly, when a customer trades in a futures or options contract that is priced and settled in a currency other than U.S. dollars, a customer should be aware that the accruals from such trading may be made in the applicable currency. If a customer has previously not traded in contracts that are priced and settled in a currency other than U.S. dollars, a firm should inform the customer if the accruals from the trades will be held in a currency other than U.S. dollars, at the time the customer places an order that might result in such accruals.[14] FCMs and their associated persons (“APs”) should also be ready to respond to inquiries that any customer may have about accruals or other issues arising in connection with monthly account statements.[15]

2. Location of Depositories

The proposed rule would permit an FCM or DCO to hold customer funds of any denomination in the United States or in any money center country (Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom). Hence, customer funds of any denomination could be held in any of the Group of Seven (“G7”) countries. The G7 countries represent the world's largest industrial democracies. Furthermore, representatives from these countries meet several times a year to coordinate their cooperation on issues of economic policy. In this regard, the United States and its financial regulatory agencies have had successful cooperation with the respective financial regulatory agencies of these countries.

An FCM or DCO also could hold any particular currency in the country of origin of that currency,[16] except that customer funds may not be held in any of the restricted countries subject to sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets and Control (“OFAC”) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.[17] The rule would further provide that funds could be held outside the United States only to the extent specifically authorized by the customer. Holding funds in each country may pose different risks and different operational costs and benefits. Start Printed Page 52644Therefore, the Commission believes that the customer must be able to choose whether, and to what extent, to incur such risks and costs. The Commission, however, is not establishing a particular format that such an authorization must follow. It is simply requiring that the FCM make and maintain a written record detailing the terms and conditions of any such authorization. No separate customer signature would be required.

FCMs and DCOs should also be aware that the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development maintains a list of non-cooperative countries or territories with respect to anti-money laundering programs and that the Secretary of the Treasury may designate, in accordance with Section 311 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (“USA PATRIOT”) Act of 2001,[18] certain countries as areas of primary money laundering concern.[19] Before holding any customer funds in a depository in any of these countries or territories, FCMs and DCOs should undertake due diligence to assure themselves that the depository is reputable, has appropriate operational systems to safeguard customer funds, and has an adequate program to deter money laundering.

3. Qualifications of Depositories

Under the proposal, if the depository is located in the U.S., it must be: (1) A bank or trust company; (2) an FCM registered with the Commission; or (3) a DCO. If the depository is located outside the U.S., it must be: (1) A bank or trust company that has (a) in excess of $1 billion in regulatory capital, or (b) commercial paper or long-term debt rated in the highest rating category by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization (where the bank or trust company is part of a holding company system, the holding company may satisfy the rating criterion); (2) an FCM registered with the Commission; or (3) a DCO.

Only depositories that provide the FCM or DCO with the written acknowledgment required under Commission Rules 1.20 or 1.26 may hold customer funds required to be segregated.[20] However, a DCO acting as a depository does not need to provide an acknowledgment letter to an FCM where the DCO's rules provide for the segregation of funds held on behalf of customers.[21]

4. Segregation Requirements

As noted above, protection of customer funds is one of the most important purposes of the Act and the Commission's regulations. Customer funds must be segregated so as to assure that the obligations owed to customers will be met. Through segregation, customer funds are readily identifiable in the event that a registrant becomes insolvent. Accordingly, the proposed rule requires that the FCM or DCO, at the close of each business day, have in segregated accounts on behalf of its customers sufficient U.S. dollars held in the U.S. to meet all U.S. dollar obligations and sufficient funds in each other currency to meet obligations in such currency with certain permitted substitutions. The segregation requirements of the proposed rule are meant to ensure that FCMs and DCOs maintain enough funds, and in the appropriate currency, to meet the obligations owed to customers.

As noted, the proposed rule would permit limited substitutions among currencies. U.S. dollars held in the U.S. may be used to meet obligations denominated in any other currency. Money center currencies and U.S. dollars held in money center countries may be held to meet obligations denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In essence, three tiers of currencies would be established, U.S. dollars held in the U.S. (“Tier I”), U.S. dollars and money center currencies held in money center countries or money center currencies held in the U.S. (“Tier II”), and non-money center currencies (“Tier III”). Tier I currency could be used for any obligation. For U.S. dollar obligations to customers only Tier I currency could be used. Tier II currencies could be used for any obligation except U.S. dollars. Tier III currencies could only be used for obligations denominated in that particular currency.

B. Recordkeeping

The Commission is also proposing to amend Rule 1.32 to require FCMs to compute segregated funds on a currency-by-currency basis if they are held in other than U.S. dollars, in accordance with proposed new Rule 1.49. Under proposed Rule 1.49, customer funds may be held in the United States, a money center country, or the country of origin of the currency. Proposed Rule 1.49 also would require FCMs and DCOs that hold funds in foreign currency or offshore to maintain records sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the additional segregation requirements set forth in proposed paragraph 1.49(e).

C. Bankruptcy

In Interp. 12, the Commission noted two types of risk associated with holding funds offshore that might result in customers failing to fully recover segregated funds, either upon demand or in a bankruptcy or receivership, (1) currency risk and (2) location risk.[22]

Currency risk is the risk of currency exchange rate fluctuations. This can be a concern where an FCM is in bankruptcy or receivership and it holds deposits denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Due to changes in currency exchange rates, the size of the pool of funds available for distribution to customers and the size of claims against the funds may vary from day to day while the bankruptcy is pending, thereby exposing customers with U.S. dollar-denominated claims to currency risk.[23]

Location risk is the risk that funds held in a foreign depository might not be fully recoverable by a customer upon demand or in the event of bankruptcy or receivership. It includes the risk that foreign depositories may not be cooperative with the Commission concerning questions of compliance with segregation requirements, or that a foreign court might refuse to enforce provisions of the Commission's rules that prohibit a foreign depository from offsetting obligations of an FCM against customer funds. There is also a risk that, in the event of an FCM becoming insolvent, deposits at a foreign depository might be subject to an insolvency regime that is different from Start Printed Page 52645U.S. bankruptcy law. Additionally, a foreign government might limit the availability of funds by freezing or confiscating assets held within its jurisdiction or taking actions that affect their currency, even if the assets are located in the U.S.[24]

Currently, pursuant to Interp. 12, before placing a customer's funds offshore, an FCM must obtain from the customer a subordination agreement. In the agreement, the customer consents to the subordination of claims concerning funds held offshore or in a foreign currency to the claims of customers whose funds are held in U.S. dollars in the U.S. or in other currencies in the event the FCM is placed in bankruptcy or receivership and there are insufficient funds available for distribution from the funds held in that particular currency to satisfy customer claims against those funds. The subordination agreement was meant to protect customers whose funds are held in the U.S. and denominated in U.S. dollars from both currency and location risk that might result in customers receiving less than their pro-rata share of funds.

In Interp. 12, the Commission stated that “currency risk is similar to the price risk which can occur in cases where an FCM becomes insolvent while holding customer deposits in forms which fluctuate in value,” using the example of Treasury securities.[25] The Commission noted, however, that there were distinctions between price risk and currency risk, such that it was more equitable to spread the price risk among all customers in the event of a bankruptcy than it was the currency risk. First, the Commission indicated that all customers had the opportunity to post Treasury securities as margin, but under Interp. 12 only customers trading certain contracts could post foreign currency. Second, shortfalls in foreign currency accounts were more likely because of sovereign or location risk. Third, it would be easier and quicker for a trustee or receiver to convert Treasury securities held in the U.S. to cash than to convert foreign currency held offshore into U.S. dollars.

Under proposed rule 1.49, subject to exchange margin rules, any customer may deposit foreign currency with an FCM, not just those trading certain contracts. Additionally, as discussed below, the proposed rule and the amendment to Appendix B of the Commission's bankruptcy rules limit sovereign risk and protect customers who deposit U.S. dollars from being adversely affected due to the sovereign action of a foreign government or court, including the effect of a non-U.S. insolvency regime. While converting Treasury securities held in the U.S. to cash may be quick and easy, converting foreign currency into U.S. dollars or transferring U.S. dollars held offshore to the U.S. is not extremely difficult. This is particularly true in the money center countries. As a result, the Commission believes spreading currency risk among all customers is no less equitable than spreading price risk among all customers.

In this proposal, the Commission has sought to address many aspects of currency and location risks through the safeguards discussed above. One aspect of location risk that remains, however, is sovereign risk. This is the risk that the actions of a foreign government or court might result in a shortfall in segregated funds.

To address sovereign risk, the Commission is proposing to amend Framework 2 of Appendix B of its bankruptcy rules to govern the distribution of customer funds segregated pursuant to the Act and Commission rules thereunder, held by an FCM or DCO in a depository outside the U.S. or in a foreign currency.[26] The maintenance of customer funds in a depository outside the U.S. or denominated in a foreign currency would result, in certain circumstances, in the reduction of customer claims for such funds.

For purposes of the proposed bankruptcy convention, sovereign action of a foreign government or court would include, but not be limited to, the application or enforcement of statutes, rules, regulations, interpretations, advisories, decisions, or orders, formal or informal, by a federal, state, or provincial executive, legislature, judiciary, or government agency.

If an FCM filed, or had filed against it, a petition in bankruptcy and maintained customer funds in a depository located in the U.S. in a currency other than U.S. dollars, or in a depository outside the U.S., the following allocation procedure would be used to calculate the claim of each customer. After reducing each customer's claim by the percentage of the shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action, certain customer claims will be further reduced based upon their exposure to loss attributable to sovereign action. This framework is designed to prevent a shortfall in funds held outside the U.S. or in a currency other than U.S. dollars resulting from the sovereign action of a foreign government or court from adversely affecting customers whose funds are held in U.S. dollars or in the U.S. or in a currency or a country other than the one undertaking the sovereign action resulting in the shortfall.

The proposed rule and the proposed framework to the bankruptcy appendix address the risks associated with holding customer funds outside the U.S. or in currencies other than U.S. dollars. Accordingly, the requirement that each customer who seeks to have funds held outside the U.S. must execute a separate subordination agreement would be eliminated.

III. Request for Comments Regarding the Location of Foreign Futures or Foreign Options Secured Amount

The rule proposed herein would expand the permitted depositories at which customer funds for trading on designated contract markets and registered DTFs could be held. The proposed rule, however, would not be applicable to the funds of U.S. customers for purposes of trading on a foreign board of trade; Commission Rule 30.7 would still govern in that situation.

Rule 30.7 provides, among other things, that an FCM must maintain the funds of foreign futures or options customers, in a separate account, with: (1) A bank or trust company located in the U.S. or as designated; (2) another person registered as an FCM; (3) the clearing organization of a foreign board of trade; (4) any member of such board of trade; or (5) such member or clearing organization's designated depository. To the extent that an FCM wishes to maintain customer funds at a bank or trust company outside the U.S., pursuant to Rule 30.7(c)(1), the Commission must first recognize the depository. The Commission's Division of Trading and Markets, in CFTC Start Printed Page 52646Advisory 87-5,[27] indicated that any bank or trust company located outside the U.S. whose commercial paper or long term debt is rated in one of the two highest rating categories by Standard & Poor's Corporation or Moody's Investors Service, Inc., is automatically deemed recognized. With regard to a bank or trust company located outside the U.S. that is not rated in one of the two highest rating categories by Standard & Poor's Corporation or Moody's Investors Service, Inc., an FCM must file an application for recognition of the subject depository, as set forth in Advisory 87-5.[28]

The Commission seeks comment on whether, in light of the proposed rules herein, Rule 30.7 should also be amended to expand the types of depositories at which an FCM may hold the funds of foreign futures or options customers. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on whether such amendments should permit the holding of customer funds in the same depositories as those permitted under proposed Rule 1.49, or whether there are special circumstances regarding foreign futures and options customers that would require a unique approach.

IV. Related Matters

A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) [29] requires that agencies, in proposing rules, consider the impact of those rules on small businesses. The Commission has previously established certain definitions of “small entities” to be used by the Commission in evaluating the impact of its rules on such entities in accordance with the RFA.[30] The Commission has previously determined that FCMs are not small entities for the purpose of the RFA.[31] Additionally, the Commission has determined that DCOs are not small entities for purposes of the RFA.[32] Accordingly, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, certifies pursuant to section 3(a) of the RFA [33] that the proposed rules will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (“PRA”) [34] imposes certain requirements on federal agencies (including the Commission) in connection with their conducting or sponsoring any collection of information as defined by the PRA. This proposed rulemaking contains information or collection requirements. The Commission has submitted a copy of this part to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for its review.

Collection of Information

Regulations and Forms Pertaining to the Financial Integrity of the Marketplace, OMB Control Number 3038-0024.

The effect of the proposed rules would be to increase the burden previously approved by OMB by 120 hours. The burden associated with the proposed new rule is estimated to be 120 hours, which will result from new recordkeeping requirements for FCMs that, at the request of the customer, convert customer funds to a currency other than that deposited with the FCM and for FCMs that, as authorized by the customer, hold customer funds outside the United States.

The estimated burden of the proposed new rule was calculated as follows:

Estimated number of respondents: 120.

Reports annually by each respondent: 100.

Total annual responses: 12,000.

Estimated average number of hours per response: .01.

Estimated total number of hours of annual burden in fiscal year: 120.

Persons wishing to comment on the information collection requirements that would be required by the proposed rule should contact the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, Attn: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The Commission considers comments by the public on this proposed collection of information in—

  • Evaluating whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;
  • Evaluating the accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhancing the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • Minimizing the burden of the collection of the information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information contained in these proposed regulations between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect the deadline for the public to comment to the Commission on the proposed regulations.

Copies of the information collection submission to OMB are available from the CFTC Clearance Officer, 1155 21st Street, NW., Washington, DC 20581 (202) 418-5160.

C. Cost-Benefit Analysis

Section 15(a) of the Act, as amended by Section 119 of the CFMA, requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its action before issuing a new regulation under the Act. By its terms, Section 15(a) as amended does not require the Commission to quantify the costs and benefits of a new regulation or to determine whether the benefits of the proposed regulation outweigh its costs. Rather, Section 15(a) simply requires the Commission to “consider the costs and benefits” of its action.

Section 15(a) of the Act further specifies that costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: protection of market participants and the public; efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; price discovery; sound risk management practices; and other public interest considerations. Accordingly, the Commission could in its discretion give greater weight to any one of the five enumerated areas and could in its discretion determine that, notwithstanding its costs, a particular rule was necessary or appropriate to protect the public interest or to effectuate any of the provisions or to accomplish any of the purposes of the Act.

The proposed rule and amendments are intended to provide greater flexibility for FCMs, DCOs, and their customers in their methods of doing Start Printed Page 52647business. The Commission is considering the costs and benefits of these rules in light of the specific provisions of Section 15(a) of the Act:

1. Protection of market participants and the public. To protect market participants and the public, the proposal requires that depositories used to hold customer funds meet certain requirements to assure that customer funds are dealt with properly. Additionally, the proposal includes a new framework to the bankruptcy appendix to protect customer funds held in U.S. dollars in the U.S. from being diluted if there is an insufficiency in the funds held outside the U.S. or in a currency other than U.S. dollars due to the sovereign action of a foreign government or court.

2. Efficiency and competition. The proposed rules are expected to benefit competition and market efficiency. The proposed rule will help to facilitate continued international growth of the futures industry by permitting customer funds to be denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars and to be held in offshore depositories.

3. Financial integrity of futures markets and price discovery. The proposed rules should have no effect, from the standpoint of imposing costs or creating benefits, on the financial integrity or price discovery function of the futures and options markets.

4. Sound risk management practices. The Commission in proposing the rule and amendments has included risk-limiting features, such as requiring FCMs and DCOs to maintain sufficient funds to meet obligations in each currency, and requiring depositories to meet certain criteria, including signing an acknowledgment regarding the segregation requirements under the Act and Commission rules, to minimize the risks to customer funds.

5. Other public interest considerations. The proposed rules and amendments contained herein offer greater opportunity for taking full advantage of contracts being offered by domestic designated contract markets and registered DTFs and the ever increasing internationalization of the futures industry, while establishing safeguards for customer funds.

After considering these factors, the Commission has determined to propose the rule and amendments discussed above. The Commission invites public comment on its application of the cost-benefit provision. Commenters also are invited to submit any data that they may have quantifying the costs and benefits of the proposal with their comment letters.

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Lists of Subjects

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In consideration of the foregoing and pursuant to the authority contained in the Commodity Exchange Act and, in particular, sections 2(a)(1)(A), 4d, 8a(5), and 20, 7 U.S.C. 2(i), 6d, 12a(5), and 24, and 11 U.S.C. 362, 546, 548, 556 and 761-766, the Commission hereby proposes to amend chapter I of Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

Start Part

PART 1—GENERAL REGULATIONS UNDER THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT

1. The authority citation for Part 1 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 5, 6, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6j, 6k, 6l, 6m, 6n, 6o, 6p, 7, 7a, 7b, 8, 9, 12, 12a, 12c, 13a, 13a-1, 16, 16a, 19, 21, 23, and 24, as amended by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2001, Appendix E of Pub. L. No. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763 (2000).

End Authority

2. Section 1.32 is amended by revising paragraph (a) introductory text to read as follows:

Segregated account; daily computation and record.

(a) Each futures commission merchant must compute as of the close of each business day, on a currency-by-currency basis:

* * * * *

3. Section 1.49 is added to read as follows:

Denomination of customer funds and location of depositories.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Money center country. This term means Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

(2) Money center currency. This term means the currency of any money center country and the Euro.

(3) Non-money center country. This term means any country other than a money center country or the United States.

(4) Non-money center currency. This term means any currency other than a money center currency or the United States dollar.

(b) Permissible denominations of obligations. (1) Subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this section, a futures commission merchant's obligations to a customer shall be denominated:

(i) In the United States dollar;

(ii) In a currency in which funds were deposited by the customer or were converted at the request of the customer, to the extent of such deposits and conversions; or

(iii) In a currency in which funds have accrued to the customer as a result of trading conducted on a designated contract market or registered derivatives transaction execution facility, to the extent of such accruals.

(2)(i) A futures commission merchant shall prepare and maintain a written record of each transaction converting customer funds from one currency to another.

(ii) A written record prepared under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section must include the date the transaction was executed, the currencies converted, the amount converted, and the resulting amount.

(iii) The information required under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section must be provided to the customer upon the customer's request.

(c) Permissible locations of depositories. (1) Subject to paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(3) of this section, a futures commission merchant or a derivatives clearing organization may hold customer funds:

(i) In the United States;

(ii) In a money center country; or

(iii) In the country of origin of the currency.

(2) Customer funds may not be held in a restricted country subject to sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets and Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

(3) Customer funds may be held outside the United States only to the extent specifically authorized by the customer. A futures commission merchant must make and maintain a written record detailing the terms and conditions of any such authorization.

(d) Qualifications for depositories. (1) To hold customer funds required to be segregated pursuant to the Act and §§ 1.20 through 1.30, 1.32 and 1.36, a depository must provide the depositing futures commission merchant or derivatives clearing organization with the appropriate written acknowledgment as required under §§ 1.20 and 1.26.

(2) A depository, if located in the United States, must be:

(i) A bank or trust company;

(ii) A futures commission merchant registered as such with the Commission; or

(iii) A derivatives clearing organization.

(3) A depository, if located outside the United States, must be: Start Printed Page 52648

(i) A bank or trust company:

(A) That has in excess of $1 billion of regulatory capital, or

(B) Whose commercial paper or long-term debt instrument or, if a part of a holding company system, its holding company's commercial paper or long-term debt instrument, is rated in the highest rating category by at least one nationally recognized statistical rating organization;

(ii) A futures commission merchant that is registered as such with the Commission; or

(iii) A derivatives clearing organization.

(e) Segregation requirements. (1) Each futures commission merchant and each derivatives clearing organization must, as of the close of each business day, hold in segregated accounts on behalf of commodity or option customers:

(i) Sufficient United States dollars, held in the United States, to meet all United States dollar obligations; and

(ii) Sufficient funds in each other currency to meet obligations in such currency.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section, assets denominated in one currency may be held to meet obligations denominated in another currency as follows:

(i) United States dollars may be held in the United States or in money center countries to meet obligations denominated in any other currency; and

(ii) Funds in money center currencies may be held in the United States or in money center countries to meet obligations denominated in currencies other than the United States dollar.

(3) Each futures commission merchant and each derivatives clearing organization shall make and maintain records sufficient to demonstrate compliance with this paragraph (e).

End Part Start Part

PART 190—BANKRUPTCY RULES

4. The authority citation for Part 190 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 4a, 6c, 6d, 6g, 7, 7a, 12, 19, 23, and 24, and 11 U.S.C. 362, 546, 548, 556 and 761-766, unless otherwise noted.

End Authority

5. Part 190 is amended by revising at the end of Appendix B, Framework 2 to read as follows:

Appendix B to Part 190—Special Bankruptcy Distributions

* * * * *

Framework 2—Special Allocation of Shortfall to Customer Claims When Customer Funds Are Held in a Depository Outside of the United States or in a Foreign Currency

The Commission has established the following allocation convention with respect to customer funds segregated pursuant to the Act and Commission rules thereunder held by a futures commission merchant (“FCM”) or derivatives clearing organization (“DCO”) in a depository outside the United States (“U.S.”) or in a foreign currency. The maintenance of customer funds in a depository outside the U.S. or denominated in a foreign currency will result, in certain circumstances, in the reduction of customer claims for such funds. For purposes of this proposed bankruptcy convention, sovereign action of a foreign government or court would include, but not be limited to, the application or enforcement of statutes, rules, regulations, interpretations, advisories, decisions, or orders, formal or informal, by a federal, state, or provincial executive, legislature, judiciary, or government agency. If an FCM enters into bankruptcy and maintains customer funds in a depository located in the U.S. in a currency other than U.S. dollars or in a depository outside the U.S., the following allocation procedures shall be used to calculate the claim of each customer.

I. Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

A. Determination of Losses Not Attributable to Sovereign Action

1. Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. Dollars at the exchange rate in effect on the Final Net Equity Determination Date, as defined in § 190.01(s) (the “Exchange Rate”).

2. Determine the amount of assets available for distribution to customers. In making this calculation, include customer funds that would be available for distribution but for the sovereign action.

3. Convert the amount of assets available for distribution to U.S. Dollars at the Exchange Rate.

4. Determine the Shortfall Percentage that is not attributable to sovereign action, as follows:

B. Allocation of Losses Not Attributable to Sovereign Action

1. Reduce each customer's claim by the Shortfall Percentage.

II. Reduction in Claims for Sovereign Loss

A. Determination of Losses Attributable to Sovereign Action (“Sovereign Loss”)

1. If any portion of a customer's claim is required to be kept in U.S. dollars in the U.S., that portion of the customer's claim is not exposed to Sovereign Loss.

2. If any portion of a customer's claim is authorized to be kept in only one location and that location is:

a. The U.S. or a location in which there is no Sovereign Loss, then that portion of the customer's claim is not exposed to Sovereign Loss.

b. A location in which there is Sovereign Loss, then that entire portion of the customer's claim is exposed to Sovereign Loss.

3. If any portion of a customer's claim is authorized to be kept in only one currency and that currency is:

a. U.S. dollars or a currency in which there is no Sovereign Loss, then that portion of the customer's claim is not exposed to Sovereign Loss.

b. A currency in which there is Sovereign Loss, then that entire portion of the customer's claim is exposed to Sovereign Loss.

4. If any portion of a customer's claim is authorized to be kept in more than one location and:

a. There is no Sovereign Loss in any of those locations, then that portion of the customer's claim is not exposed to Sovereign Loss.

b. There is Sovereign Loss in one of those locations, then that entire portion of the customer's claim is exposed to Sovereign Loss.

c. There is Sovereign Loss in more than one of those locations, then an equal share of that portion of the customer's claim will be exposed to Sovereign Loss in each such location.

5. If any portion of a customer's claim is authorized to be kept in more than one currency and:

a. There is no Sovereign Loss in any of those currencies, then that portion of the customer's claim is not exposed to Sovereign Loss.

b. There is Sovereign Loss in one of those currencies, then that entire portion of the customer's claim is exposed to Sovereign Loss.

c. There is Sovereign Loss in more than one of those currencies, then an equal share of that portion of the customer's claim will be exposed to Sovereign Loss.

B. Calculation of Sovereign Loss

1. The total Sovereign Loss for each location is the difference between:

a. The total customer funds deposited in depositories in that location and

b. The amount of funds in that location that are available to be distributed to customers, after taking into account any sovereign action.

2. The total Sovereign Loss for each currency is the difference between:

a. The value, in U.S. dollars, of the funds held in that currency on the day before the sovereign action took place and Start Printed Page 52649

b. The value, in U.S. dollars, of the funds held in that currency on the Final Net Equity Determination Date.

C. Allocation of Sovereign Loss

1. Each portion of a customer's claim exposed to Sovereign Loss in a location will be reduced by:

2. Each portion of a customer's claim exposed to Sovereign Loss in a currency will be reduced by:

3. A portion of a customer's claim exposed to Sovereign Loss in a location or currency will not be reduced below zero. (The above calculations might yield a result below zero where the FCM kept more customer funds in a location or currency than it was authorized to keep.)

4. Any amount of Sovereign Loss from a location or currency in excess of the total amount of funds authorized to be kept in that location or currency (calculated in accord with Section II.1 above) (“Total Excess Sovereign Loss”) will be divided among all customers who have authorized funds to be kept outside the U.S., or in currencies other than U.S. dollars, with each such customer claim reduced by the following amount:

The following examples illustrate the operation of this convention. 1. No shortfall in any location:

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$50U.S.
B€50U.K.
C€50Germany.
D£300U.K.
LocationActual asset balance
U.S.$50
U.K.£300
U.K.€50
Germany€50

Conversion Rates: €1 = $1; £1=$1.5

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion RateClaim in US$
A$501.0$50
B€501.050
C€501.050
D£3001.5450
Total600

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S$501.0$50$50
U.K£3001.5450450
U.K€501.05050
Start Printed Page 52650
Germany€501.05050
Total6000600

There are no shortfalls in funds held in any location. Accordingly, there will be no reduction of customer claims.

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign actionClaim after all reductions
A$50$0$50
B50050
C50050
D4500450
Total6000600

2. Shortfall in funds held in the U.S.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$100U.S.
B€50U.K.
C€100U.K., Germany, or Japan.
LocationActual asset balance
U.S$50
U.K€100
Germany€50
Conversion Rates: €1 = $1.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

There is a shortfall in the funds held in the U.S. such that only 1/2 of the funds are available.

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in US$
A$1001.0$100
B€501.050
C€1001.0100
Total250

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S$501.0$50$50
U.K€1001.0100100
Germany€501.05050
Total200200

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action:

Shortfall Percentage = (1−200/250) = (1−80%) = 20%.

Start Printed Page 52651

Reduce each customer's claim by the Shortfall Percentage:

CustomerClaim in U.S.$Allocated Shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$100$20.00$80.00
B5010.0040.00
C10020.0080.00
Total25050200

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

There is no shortfall due to sovereign action. Accordingly, the customer claims will not be further reduced.

Claims After Reductions

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign actionClaim after all reductions
A$80$80.00
B4040.00
C8080.00
Total2000200.00

3. Shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, due to sovereign action.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) where customer has consented to have funds held
A$50U.S.
B€50U.K.
C€50Germany
D$100U.S.
D€100U.K. or Germany.
LocationActual asset balance
U.S$150
U.K€100
Germany€100
Conversion Rates: €1 = $1; ¥1=$0.01, £1=$1.5.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in U.S.$
A$501.0$50
B€501.050
C€501.050
D$1001.0100
D€1001.0100
Total350

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S.$1501.0$150$150
U.K.€1001.0100100
Germany€1001.010050$5050
Start Printed Page 52652
Total35050300

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action: Shortfall Percentage = (1−350/350) = (1−100%) = 0%. Reduce each customer's claim by the shortfall percentage:

CustomerClaim in US$Allocated shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$50$0$50.00
B50050.00
C50050.00
D2000200.00
Total3500350.00

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

Due to sovereign action, only 1/2 of the funds in Germany are available.

CustomerPresumed location of funds
U.S.U.K.Germany
A$50
B$50
C$50
D100100
Total15050150

Calculation of the allocation of the shortfall due to sovereign action.

Germany ($50 shortfall to be allocated):

CustomerAllocation shareAllocation share of actual shortfallActual shortfall allocated
C$50/$15033.3% of $50$16.67
D$100/$15066.7% of 5033.33
Total50.00

Claims After Reductions

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign action from GermanyClaim after all reductions
A$50$50
B5050
C50$16.6733.33
D20033.33166.67
Total35050.00300.00

4. Shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, due to sovereign action and a shortfall in funds held in the U.S.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$100U.S.
B€50U.K.
C€150Germany
D$100U.S.
D£300U.K.
D€150U.K. or Germany.
Start Printed Page 52653
LocationActual asset balance
U.S$100
U.K£300
U.K€200
Germany€150

Conversion Rates: €1=$1; £1=$1.5.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

Convert each customer s claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in US $
A$1001.0$100
B€501.050
C€1501.0150
D$1001.0100
D£3001.5450
D€1501.0150
Total1000

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S.$1001.0$100$100
U.K.£3001.5450450
U.K.€2001.0200200
Germany€1501.01501001500
Total900150750

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action: Shortfall Percentage = (1-900/1000)= (1-90%) = 10%. Reduce each customer's claim by the shortfall percentage:

CustomerClaim in US$Allocated shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$100$10.00$90.00
B505.0045.00
C15015.00135.00
D70070.00630.00
Total1000100.00900.00

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

Due to sovereign action, none of the money in Germany is available.

CustomerPresumed location of funds
U.S.U.K.Germany
A$100
B50
C150
D100450150
Total200500300

Calculation of the allocation of the shortfall due to sovereign action.

Germany ($150 shortfall to be allocated):

CustomerAllocation shareAllocation share of actual shortfallActual shortfall allocated
C$150/$30050% of $150$75
Start Printed Page 52654
D$150/$30050% of $15075
Total150

Claims After Reductions:

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign action from GermanyClaim after all reductions
A$90$90
B4545
C135$7560
D63075555
Total900150750

5. Shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, not due to sovereign action.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$150U.S.
B€100U.K.
C€50Germany.
D$100U.S.
D€100U.K. or Germany.
LocationActual asset balance
U.S$250
U.K€50
Germany€100
Conversion Rates: €1 = $1.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in US$
A$1501.0$150
B€1001.0100
C€501.050
D$1001.0100
D€1001.0100
Total500

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S.$2501.0$250$250
U.K.€501.05050
Germany€1001.0100100
Total4000400

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action: Shortfall Percentage = (1−400/500) = (1−80%) = 20%. Reduce each customer's claim by the shortfall percentage:

CustomerClaim in U.S.$Allocated shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$150$30.00$120.00
B10020.0080.00
C5010.0040.00
Start Printed Page 52655
D20040.00160.00
Total500100.00400.00

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

There is no shortfall due to sovereign action. Accordingly, the claims will not be further reduced.

Claims After Reductions

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign actionClaim after all reductions
A$120.00$120
B80.0080
C40.0040
D160.00160
Total400.000400

6. Shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, due to sovereign action, shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, not due to sovereign action, and a shortfall in funds held in the U.S.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$50U.S.
B€50U.K.
C$20U.S.
C€50Germany.
D$100U.S.
D£300U.K.
D€100U.K., Germany, or Japan.
E$80U.S.
E¥1=10,000Japan
LocationActual asset balance
U.S$200
U.K£200
U.K€100
Germany€50
Japan¥1000
Conversion Rates: €1 = $1; ¥1=$0.01, £1=$1.5.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in US$
A$501.0$50
B€501.050
C$201.020
C€501.050
D$1001.0100
D£3001.5450
D€1001.0100
E$801.080
E¥10,0000.01100
Total1000

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

Start Printed Page 52656
LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actual available
U.S$2001.0$200$200
U.K£2001.5300300
U.K€1001.0100100
Germany€501.050100$500
Japan¥100000.01100505050
Total750100650

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action: Shortfall Percentage = (1−750/1000) = (1−75%) = 25%.

Reduce each customer's claim by the shortfall percentage:

CustomerClaim in U.S.$Allocated shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$50$12.50$37.50
B5012.5037.50
C7017.5052.50
D650162.50487.50
E18045.00135.00
Total1000250.00750.00

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

Due to sovereign action, none of the money in Germany and only 1/2 of the funds in Japan are available.

CustomerPresumed location of funds
U.S.U.K.GermanyJapan
A$50
B$50
C20$50
D10045050$50
E80100
Total250500100150

Calculation of the allocation of the shortfall due to sovereign action.

Germany ($50 shortfall to be allocated):

CustomerAllocation shareAllocation share of actual shortfallActual shortfall allocated
C$50/$10050% of $50$25
D$50/$10050% of $5025
Total50

Japan ($50 shortfall to be allocated):

CustomerAllocation shareAllocation share of actual shortfallActual shortfall allocated
D$50/$15033.3% of $50$16.67
E$100/$15066.6% of $5033.33
Total50.00

Claims After Reductions:Start Printed Page 52657

CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign action from GermanyAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign action from JapanClaims after reductions
A$37.50$37.50
B37.5037.50
C52.50$2527.50
D487.5025$16.67445.83
E135.0033.33101.67
Total750.005050.00650.00

7. Shortfall in funds held outside the U.S., or in a currency other than U.S. dollars, due to sovereign action, where the FCM kept more funds than permitted in such location or currency.

CustomerClaimLocation(s) customer has consented to having funds held
A$50U.S.
B$50U.S.
B€50U.K.
C€50Germany
D$100U.S.
D€100U.K. or Germany
E$50U.S.
E€50U.K.
LocationActual asset balance
U.S.$250
U.K.€50
Germany€200
Conversion Rates: €1 = $1.

Reduction in Claims for General Shortfall

Convert each customer's claim in each currency to U.S. dollars:

CustomerClaimConversion rateClaim in US$
A$501.0$50
B$501.050
B€501.050
C€501.050
D$1001.0100
D€1001.0100
E$501.050
E€501.050
Total500

Determine assets available for distribution to customers, converting to U.S. dollars:

LocationAssetsConversion rateAssets in U.S. dollarsShortfall due to sovereign action percentageActual shortfall due to sovereign actionAmount actually available
U.S.$2501.0$250$250
U.K.€501.05050
Germany€2001.0200100%2000
Total500200300

Determine the percentage of shortfall that is not attributable to sovereign action: Shortfall Percentage = (1-500/500) = (1-100%) = 0%.

Reduce each customer's claim by the shortfall percentage:

Start Printed Page 52658
CustomerClaim in US$Allocated shortfall (non-sovereign)Claim in U.S. dollars after allocated shortfall
A$50$0$50.00
B1000100.00
C50050.00
D2000200.00
E1000100.00
Total5000500

Reduction in Claims for Shortfall Due to Sovereign Action

Due to sovereign action, none of the money in Germany is available.

CustomerPresumed location of funds
U.S.U.K.Germany
A$50
B50$50
C$50
D100100
E5050
Total250100150

Calculation of the allocation of the shortfall due to sovereign action. Germany ($200 shortfall to be allocated):

CustomerAllocation shareAllocation share of actual shortfallActual shortfall allocated
C$50/$15033.3% of $200$66.67
D$100/$15066.7% of $200133.33
Total200.00

This would result in the claims of customers C and D being reduced below zero. Accordingly, the claims of customer C and D will only be reduced to zero, or $50 for C and $100 for D. This results in a Total Excess Shortfall of $50.

Actual shortfallAllocation of shortfall for customer CAllocation of shortfall for customer DTotal Excess shortfall
$200$50$100$50

This shortfall will be divided among the remaining customers who have authorized funds to be held outside the U.S. or in a currency other than U.S. dollars.

CustomerTotal claims of customers permitting funds to be held outside the U.S.Portion of claim required to be in the U.S.Allocation Share (Column B-C / Column B Total—All Customer Claims in U.S.)Allocation share of actual total excess shortfallActual total excess shortfall allocated
B$100$50$50/$20025% of $50$12.50
C500( 1)0
E10050$50/$10025% of $5012.50
Total45050.00
1 Claim already reduced to $0.
Start Printed Page 52659
CustomerClaim in U.S. dollars after allocated non-sovereign shortfallAllocation of shortfall due to sovereign action from GermanyAllocation of total excess shortfallClaims after all reductions
Claims after reductions:
A$50$50.00
B10012.5087.50
C50500.00
D20010025.0075.00
E10012.5087.50
Total50015050.00300.00
Start Signature

Issued in Washington, DC, on August 7, 2002, by the Commission.

Catherine D. Dixon,

Assistant Secretary of the Commission.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  7 U.S.C. 1 et seq. (2000).

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2.  See Commodity Exchange Authority Administrative Determination No. 238 (Sep. 4, 1974); see also Foreign Options and Foreign Futures Transactions, 51 FR 12104, note 36 (Apr. 8, 1986); Leverage Transactions, [1982-1984 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. ¶ 21,742 at p. 26,952, note 52 (May 25, 1983).

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3.  Financial and Segregation Interpretation No. 12—Deposit of Customer Funds in Foreign Depositories, 53 FR 46911 (Nov. 21, 1988). The document was published in the Federal Register as a Statement of Agency Interpretation. It was also published in the Commodity Futures Law Reporter at ¶ 7122 together with a series of Financial and Segregation Interpretations issued by the Commission's Division of Trading and Markets.

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4.  Id. at 46913.

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5.  Commission Rules referred to herein are found at 17 CFR Ch. I (2001). Rule 30.7(c) provides that the funds of foreign futures or foreign options customers maintained in a separate account be with a depository that is: “(1) A bank or trust company located in the United States or as designated; (2) Another person registered as a futures commission merchant; (3) The clearing organization of any foreign board of trade; (4) Any member of such board of trade; or (5) Such member or clearing organization's designated depositories.” See also CFTC Advisory 87-5, [1987-1990 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) ¶ 23,997 (Dec. 3, 1987) (discussing Rule 30.7(c)).

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6.  53 FR at 46913.

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7.  Id. at 46912.

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8.  Appendix E of Pub. L. No. 106-554, 114 Stat. 2763 (2000).

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9.  Section 126(a) of the CFMA.

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10.  Section 2(8).

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11.  62 FR 67841 (Dec. 30, 1997).

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12.  As discussed below, the proposal would also eliminate the need for a subordination agreement.

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13.  For example, the specifications for contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are available on its web site at: www.cme.com.

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14.  See, Clayton Brokerage Co. v. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 794 F.2d 573, 580 (11th Cir. 1986) (providing a customer with the risk disclosure statement does not relieve a broker of any obligation to disclose all material information about risk to customers). With respect to accounts controlled by a registered commodity trading advisor on behalf of a commodity or option customer, the FCM would not need to inform the customer about such accruals.

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15.  The basic risk disclosure statement required under Commission Rule 1.55 for customers contemplating trading foreign futures and options includes a warning about currency risks (see paragraph 8), as does the generic risk disclosure statement used internationally (Appendix A to Commission Rule 1.55(c), paragraph 9).

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16.  For the Euro, the country of origin includes any country that is a member of the European Union and has recognized the Euro as its official currency.

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17.  The list of restricted countries may be viewed on OFAC's web site at www.ustreas.gov/​ofac.

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18.  Pub. L. No. 107-56.

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19.  The list of non-cooperative countries and territories may be viewed on FATF's web site at: www1.oecd.org/​fatf/​. The Secretary of the Treasury has not yet designated any countries as being of primary money laundering concern; however, if such designations are made, the Commission understands that they will be publicly available on the Department of the Treasury web site at: www.ustreas.gov.

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20.  Commission Rule 1.20 provides that when an FCM or DCO deposits customer funds with a depository the FCM or DCO must obtain and retain a written acknowledgement from the depository that it was informed that the funds are subject to the provisions of the Act and regulations. Rule 1.26 requires an FCM or DCO to obtain such an acknowledgment in regard to the deposit of instruments purchased with customer funds as described under Rule 1.25.

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21.  See 65 FR 77993, 78009-13 (Dec. 13, 2000) (amending, among other things, Rules 1.20 and 1.26 to provide that a DCO acting as a depository does not need to provide an acknowledgement letter where the DCO's rules provide for the segregation of funds held on behalf of customers); 65 FR 82270 (Dec. 28, 2000) (moving forward the effective date of the amendments to Rule 1.20 and 1.26 to December 28, 2000).

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22.  53 FR at 46912.

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23.  See 53 FR at 46915 (providing an example of currency risk).

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24.  Part of the impetus for Interp. 12 was the fact that, historically, U.S. banks could not pay interest on deposits of foreign currency. Shortly after the issuance of Interp. 12, however, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System permitted U.S. banks to pay interest on foreign currency deposits, increasing the likelihood of such deposits. Presumably, certain sovereign action of a foreign government could affect foreign currency even if held in the U.S. Any discussion of sovereign risk herein pertains to non-U.S. currency, wherever held.

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25.  53 FR at 46915, note 22.

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26.  The current Framework 2 sets forth a plan for distribution in the case of trades made on the Chicago Board of Trade-London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange Link (“Link”). Since the Link ceased operations in 1997, there is no need to maintain the existing Framework 2. Accordingly, the Commission is proposing to replace the existing Framework 2 related to Link with a new Framework 2 that addresses U.S. held segregated funds and non-U.S. held segregated funds.

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27.  See note 5, supra. As of July 1, 2002, a reorganization of Commission staff became effective. The Division of Trading and Markets is the predecessor to the Division of Clearing and Intermediary Oversight.

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28.  CFTC Advisory 87-5, [1987-1990 Transfer Binder] Comm. Fut. L. Rep. (CCH) at 34,496-34,497.

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30.  47 FR 18618 (April 30, 1982).

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31.  47 FR 18619.

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32.  47 FR 45604, 45609 (Aug. 29, 2001.

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[FR Doc. 02-20471 Filed 8-12-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6351-01-P