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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Depository Trust Company; Notice of Filing and Extension of the Review Period of an Advance Notice To Amend the Loss Allocation Rules and Make Other Changes

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Start Preamble January 24, 2018.

Pursuant to Section 806(e)(1) of Title VIII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act entitled the Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 (“Clearing Supervision Act”) and Rule 19b-4(n)(1)(i) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] notice is hereby given that on December 18, 2017, The Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) advance notice SR-DTC-2017-804 (“Advance Notice”) as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the clearing agency.[2] The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the Advance Notice from interested persons and to extend the review period of the Advance Notice for an additional 60 days pursuant to Section 806(e)(1)(H) of the Clearing Supervision Act.[3]

I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Advance Notice

This advance notice is filed by DTC in connection with proposed modifications to the Rules, By-Laws and Organization Certificate of DTC (“Rules”).[4] The proposed rule change would revise Rule 4 (Participants Fund and Participants Investment) to (i) provide separate sections for (x) the use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource for settlement and (y) loss allocation among Participants of losses and liabilities arising out of Participant defaults or due to non-default events; and (ii) enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process so that DTC can take timely action to contain multiple loss events that occur in succession during a short period of time. In connection therewith, the proposed rule change would (i) align the loss allocation rules of the three clearing agencies of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”), namely DTC, National Securities Clearing Corporation (“NSCC”), and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (“FICC”) (collectively, the “DTCC Clearing Agencies”),[5] so as to provide consistent treatment, to the extent practicable and appropriate, especially for firms that are participants of two or more DTCC Clearing Agencies, (ii) increase transparency and accessibility of the provisions relating to the use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource for settlement and the loss allocation provisions, by enhancing their readability and clarity, (iii) require a defined corporate contribution to losses and liabilities that are incurred by DTC prior to any allocation among Participants, whether such losses and liabilities arise out of Participant defaults or due to non-default events, (iv) reduce the time within which DTC is required to return a former Participant's Actual Participants Fund Deposit, and (v) make conforming and technical changes. The proposed rule change would also amend Rule 1 (Definitions; Governing Law) to add cross-references to terms that would be defined in proposed Rule 4, as discussed below.

II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Advance Notice

In its filing with the Commission, the clearing agency included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the Advance Notice and discussed any comments it received on the Advance Notice. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The clearing agency has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A and B below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

(A) Clearing Agency's Statement on Comments on the Advance Notice Received From Members, Participants or Others

Written comments relating to this proposal have not been solicited or received. DTC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by DTC.

(B) Advance Notice Filed Pursuant to Section 806(e) of the Clearing Supervision Act

Nature of the Proposed Change

The proposed rule change would revise Rule 4 (Participants Fund and Participants Investment) to (i) provide separate sections for (x) the use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource for settlement and (y) loss allocation among Participants of losses and liabilities arising out of Participant defaults or due to non-default events; and (ii) enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process so that DTC can take timely action to contain multiple loss events that occur in succession during a short period of time. In connection therewith, the proposed rule change would (i) align the loss allocation rules of the DTCC Clearing Agencies, so as to provide consistent treatment, to the extent practicable and appropriate, especially for firms that are participants of two or more DTCC Clearing Agencies, (ii) increase transparency and accessibility of the provisions relating to the use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource for settlement and the loss allocation provisions, by enhancing their readability and clarity, (iii) require a defined corporate contribution to losses and liabilities that are incurred by DTC prior to any allocation among Participants, whether such losses and liabilities arise out of Participant defaults or due to non-default events, (iv) reduce the time within which DTC is required to return a former Participant's Actual Participants Fund Deposit, and (v) make conforming and technical changes. The proposed rule change would also amend Rule 1 (Definitions; Governing Law) to add cross-references to terms that would be defined in proposed Rule 4, as discussed below.

(i) Background

Current Rule 4 provides a single set of tools and a common process for the use Start Printed Page 4298of the Participants Fund for both liquidity purposes to complete settlement among non-defaulting Participants, if one or more Participants fails to settle,[6] and for the satisfaction of losses and liabilities due to Participant defaults or certain other losses or liabilities incident to the business of DTC.[7] The proposed rule change would amend and add provisions to separate use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource to complete settlement, reflected in proposed Section 4 of Rule 4, and for loss allocation, reflected in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

The proposed rule change would retain the core principles of current Rule 4 for both application of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource to complete settlement and for loss allocation, while clarifying or refining certain provisions and introducing certain new concepts relating to loss allocation. In connection with the use of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource to complete settlement when a Participant fails to settle, the proposed rule would introduce the term “pro rata settlement charge,” for the use of the Participants Fund to complete settlement as apportioned among non-defaulting Participants. The existing term generically applied to such a use or to a loss allocation is simply a “pro rata charge”.[8]

For loss allocation, the proposed rule change, like current Rule 4, would continue to apply to both default and non-default losses and liabilities, and, to the extent allocated among Participants, would be charged ratably in accordance with their Required Participants Fund Deposits.[9] A new provision would require DTC to contribute to a loss or liability, either arising from a Participant default or non-default event, prior to any allocation among Participants. The proposed rule change would also introduce the new concepts of an “Event Period” and a “round” to address the allocation of losses arising from multiple events that occur in succession during a short period of time. These proposed rule changes would be substantially similar in these respects to analogous proposed rule changes for NSCC and FICC.

Current Rule 4 Provides for Application of the Participants Fund Through Pro Rata Charges

Current Rule 4 addresses the Participants Fund and Participants Investment requirements and, among other things, the permitted uses of the Participants Fund and Participants Investment.[10] Pursuant to current Rule 4, DTC maintains a cash Participants Fund. The Required Participants Fund Deposit for any Participant is based on the liquidity risk it poses to DTC relative to other Participants.[11]

Default of a Participant. Under Section 3 of current Rule 4, if a Participant is obligated to DTC and fails to satisfy any obligation, DTC may, in such order and in such amounts as DTC shall determine in its sole discretion: (a) Apply some or all of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of such Participant to such obligation; (b) Pledge some or all of the shares of Preferred Stock of such Participant to its lenders as collateral security for a loan under the End-of-Day Credit Facility; [12] and/or (c) sell some or all of the shares of Preferred Stock of such Participant to other Participants (who shall be required to purchase such shares pro rata their Required Preferred Stock Investments at the time of such purchase), and apply the proceeds of such sale to satisfy such obligation.

Application of the Participants Fund. Section 4 of current Rule 4 addresses the application of the Participants Fund if DTC incurs a loss or liability, which would include application of the Participants Fund to complete settlement or the allocation of losses once determined, including non-default losses. For both liquidity and loss scenarios, Section 4 of current Rule 4 provides that an application of the Participants Fund would be apportioned among Participants ratably in accordance with their Required Participants Fund Deposits, less any additional amount that a Participant was required to Deposit to the Participants Fund pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 9(A).[13] It also provides for the optional use of an amount of DTC's retained earnings and undivided profits.

After the Participants Fund is applied pursuant to current Section 4, DTC must promptly notify each Participant and the Commission of the amount applied and the reasons therefor.

Current Rule 4 further requires Participants whose Actual Participants Fund Deposits have been ratably charged to restore their Required Participants Fund Deposits, if such charges create a deficiency. Such payments are due upon demand. Iterative pro rata charges relating to the same loss or liability are permitted in order to satisfy the loss or liability.

Rule 4 currently provides that a Participant may, within ten (10) Business Days after receipt of notice of any pro rata charge, notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC, and the exposure of the terminating Participant for pro rata charges would be capped at the greater of (a) the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed immediately prior to the time of the first pro rata charge, plus 100% of the amount thereof, or (b) the amount of Start Printed Page 4299all prior pro rata charges attributable to the same loss or liability with respect to which the Participant has not timely exercised its right to terminate.

Overview of the Proposed Rule Changes

A. Application of Participants Fund to Participant Default and for Settlement

Proposed Section 3 of Rule 4 would retain the concept that when a Participant is obligated to DTC and fails to satisfy such obligation, which would be defined as a “Participant Default,” DTC may apply the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the Participant to such obligation to satisfy the Participant Default. The proposed definition of “Participant Default” is for drafting clarity and use in related provisions.

Proposed Section 4 would address the situation of a Participant failure to settle (which is one type of Participant Default) if the application of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of that Participant, pursuant to proposed Section 3, is not sufficient to complete settlement among non-defaulting Participants.

Proposed Section 4 would expressly state that the Participants Fund may be applied by DTC, in such amounts as it may determine, in its sole discretion, to fund settlement among non-defaulting Participants in the event of the failure of a Participant to satisfy its settlement obligation on any Business Day. Such an application of the Participants Fund would be charged ratably to the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of the non-defaulting Participants on that Business Day. The pro rata charge per non-defaulting Participant would be based on the ratio of its Required Participants Fund Deposit to the sum of the Required Participants Fund Deposits of all such Participants on that Business Day (excluding any Additional Participants Fund Deposits in both the numerator and denominator of such ratio). The proposed rule change would identify this as a “pro rata settlement charge,” in order to distinguish application of the Participants Fund to fund settlement from pro rata loss allocation charges that would be established in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

The calculation of each non-defaulting Participant's pro rata settlement charge would be similar to the current Section 4 calculation of a pro rata charge except that, for greater simplicity, it would not include the current distinction for common members of another clearing agency pursuant to a Clearing Agency Agreement.[14] For enhanced clarity as to the date of determination of the ratio, it would be based on the Required Participants Fund Deposits as fixed on the Business Day of the application of the Participants Fund, as opposed to the current language “at the time the loss or liability was discovered.” [15]

The proposed rule change would retain the concept that requires DTC, following the application of the Participants Fund to complete settlement, to notify each Participant and the Commission of the charge and the reasons therefor (“Settlement Charge Notice”).

The proposed rule change also would retain the concept of providing each non-defaulting Participant an opportunity to elect to terminate its business with DTC and thereby cap its exposure to further pro rata settlement charges. The proposed rule change would shorten the notification period for the election to terminate from ten (10) Business Days to five (5) Business Days,[16] and would also change the beginning date of such notification period from the receipt of the notice to the date of the issuance of the settlement Charge Notice.[17] A Participant that elects to terminate its business with DTC would, subject to its cap, remain responsible for (i) its pro rata settlement charge that was the subject of the Settlement Charge Notice and (ii) all other pro rata settlement charges until the Participant Termination Date (as defined below and in the proposed rule change). The proposed cap on pro rata settlement charges of a Participant that has timely notified DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC would be the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed on the day of the pro rata settlement charge that was the subject of the Settlement Charge Notice, plus 100% of the amount thereof. The proposed cap would be no greater than the current cap.[18]

The pro rata application of the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants to complete settlement when there is a Participant Default is not the allocation of a loss. A pro rata settlement charge would relate solely to the completion of settlement. New proposed loss allocation concepts described below, including, but not limited to, a “round,” “Event Period,” and “Corporate Contribution,” would not apply to pro rata settlement charges.[19]

B. Changes To Enhance Resiliency of DTC's Loss Allocation Process

In order to enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process and to align, to the extent practicable and appropriate, its loss allocation approach to that of the other DTCC Clearing Start Printed Page 4300Agencies, DTC proposes to introduce certain new concepts and to modify other aspects of its loss allocation waterfall. The proposed rule change would adopt an enhanced allocation approach for losses, whether arising from Default Loss Events or Declared Non-Default Loss Events (as defined below). In addition, the proposed rule change would clarify the loss allocation process as it relates to losses arising from or relating to multiple default or non-default events in a short period of time.

Accordingly, DTC is proposing four (4) key changes to enhance DTC's loss allocation process:

(1) Mandatory Corporate Contribution

Section 4 of current Rule 4 provides that if there is an unsatisfied loss or liability, DTC may, in its sole discretion and in such amount as DTC would determine, “charge the existing retained earnings and undivided profits” of DTC.

Under the proposed rule change, DTC would replace the discretionary application of an unspecified amount of retained earnings and undivided profits with a mandatory, defined Corporate Contribution (as defined below and in the proposed rule change). The Corporate Contribution would be used for losses and liabilities that are incurred by DTC with respect to an Event Period (as defined below and in the proposed rule change), whether arising from a Default Loss Event or Declared Non-Default Loss Event, before the allocation of losses to Participants.

The proposed “Corporate Contribution” would be defined to be an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of DTC's General Business Risk Capital Requirement as of the end of the calendar quarter immediately preceding the Event Period.[20] DTC's General Business Risk Capital Requirement, as defined in DTC's Clearing Agency Policy on Capital Requirements,[21] is, at a minimum, equal to the regulatory capital that DTC is required to maintain in compliance with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(15) under the Act.[22] The Corporate Contribution would be held in addition to DTC's General Business Risk Capital Requirement.

The proposed Corporate Contribution would apply to losses arising from Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events, and would be a mandatory contribution of DTC prior to any allocation among Participants.[23] As proposed, if the proposed Corporate Contribution is fully or partially used against a loss or liability relating to an Event Period, the Corporate Contribution would be reduced to the remaining unused amount, if any, during the following two hundred fifty (250) Business Days in order to permit DTC to replenish the Corporate Contribution.[24] To ensure transparency, Participants would receive notice of any such reduction to the Corporate Contribution.

By requiring a defined contribution of DTC corporate funds towards losses and liabilities arising from Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events, the proposed rule change would limit Participant obligations to the extent of such Corporate Contribution and thereby provide greater clarity and transparency to Participants as to the calculation of their exposure to losses and liabilities.

Proposed Rule 4 would also further clarify that DTC can voluntarily apply amounts greater than the Corporate Contribution against any loss or liability (including non-default losses) of DTC, if the Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, believes such to be appropriate under the factual situation existing at the time.

The proposed rule changes relating to the calculation and mandatory application of the Corporate Contribution are set forth in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

(2) Introducing an Event Period

The proposed rule change would clearly define the obligations of DTC and its Participants regarding the allocation of losses or liabilities (i) relating to or arising out of a Participant Default which is not satisfied pursuant to proposed Section 3 of Rule 4 and DTC has ceased to act for such Participant (a “Default Loss Event”) and/or (ii) otherwise incident to the business of DTC,[25] as determined in proposed Rule 4 (a “Declared Non-Default Loss Event”). In order to balance the need to manage the risk of sequential loss events against Participants' need for certainty concerning maximum loss allocation exposures, DTC is proposing to introduce the concept of an “Event Period” to address the losses and liabilities that may arise from or relate to multiple Default Loss Events and/or Declared Non-Default Loss Events that arise in quick succession. Specifically, the proposal would group Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events occurring in a period of ten (10) Business Days (“Event Period”) for purposes of allocating losses to Participants in one or more rounds, subject to the limits of loss allocation set forth in the proposed rule change and as explained below.[26] In the case of a loss or liability arising from or relating to a Default Loss Event, an Event Period would begin on the day on which DTC notifies Participants that it has ceased to act for a Participant (or the next Business Day, if such day is not a Business Day). In the case of a Declared Non-Default Loss Event, the Event Period would begin on the day that DTC notifies Participants of the determination by the Board of Directors that the applicable loss or liability incident to the business of DTC may be a significant and substantial loss or liability that may materially impair the ability of DTC to provide clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner and will potentially generate losses to be mutualized among Participants in order to ensure that DTC may continue to offer clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner. If a subsequent Default Loss Event or Declared Non-Default Loss Event occurs within the Event Period, any losses or liabilities arising out of or relating to any such subsequent event Start Printed Page 4301would be resolved as losses or liabilities that are part of the same Event Period, without extending the duration of such Event Period. An Event Period may include both Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events, and there would not be separate Event Periods for Default Loss Events or Declared Non-Default Loss Events occurring within overlapping ten (10) Business Day periods.

The amount of losses that may be allocated by DTC, subject to the required Corporate Contribution, and to which a Loss Allocation Cap (as defined below and in the proposed rule change) would apply for any terminating Participant, would include any and all losses from any Default Loss Events and any Declared Non-Default Loss Events during the Event Period, regardless of the amount of time, during or after the Event Period, required for such losses to be crystallized and allocated.

The proposed rule changes relating to the implementation of an Event Period are set forth in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

(3) Introducing the Concept of “Rounds” and Loss Allocation Notice

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, a loss allocation “round” would mean a series of loss allocations relating to an Event Period, the aggregate amount of which is limited by the sum of the Loss Allocation Caps of affected Participants (a “round cap”). When the aggregate amount of losses allocated in a round equals the round cap, any additional losses relating to the applicable Event Period would be allocated in one or more subsequent rounds, in each case subject to a round cap for that round. DTC would continue the loss allocation process in successive rounds until all losses from the Event Period are allocated among Participants that have not submitted a Termination Notice (as defined below and in the proposed rule change) in accordance with proposed Section 6(b) of Rule 4.

The calculation of each Participant's pro rata allocation charge would be similar to the current Section 4 calculation of a pro rata charge except that, for greater simplicity, it would not include the current distinction for common members of another clearing agency pursuant to a Clearing Agency Agreement.[27] In addition, for enhanced clarity as to the date of determination of the ratio, it would be based on the Required Participants Fund Deposits as fixed on the first day of the Event Period, as opposed to the current language “at the time the loss or liability was discovered.” [28]

DTC would notify Participants subject to loss allocation of the amounts being allocated to them (“Loss Allocation Notice”) in successive rounds of loss allocations. Each Loss Allocation Notice would specify the relevant Event Period and the round to which it relates. Participants would receive two (2) Business Days' notice of a loss allocation,[29] and Participants would be required to pay the requisite amount no later than the second Business Day following the issuance of such notice.[30] Multiple Loss Allocation Notices may be issued with respect to each round, up to the round cap.

The first Loss Allocation Notice in any first, second, or subsequent round would expressly state that such Loss Allocation Notice reflects the beginning of the first, second, or subsequent round, as the case may be, and that each Participant in that round has five (5) Business Days [31] from the issuance [32] of such first Loss Allocation Notice for the round (such period, a “Loss Allocation Termination Notification Period”) to notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC pursuant to proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4, and thereby benefit from its Loss Allocation Cap.

The round cap of any second or subsequent round may differ from the first or preceding round cap because there may be fewer Participants in a second or subsequent round if Participants elect to terminate their business with DTC as provided in proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4 following the first Loss Allocation Notice in any round.

For example, for illustrative purposes only, after the required Corporate Contribution, if DTC has a $4 billion loss determined with respect to an Event Period and the sum of Loss Allocation Caps for all Participants subject to the loss allocation is $3 billion, the first round would begin when DTC issues the first Loss Allocation Notice for that Event Period. DTC could issue one or more Loss Allocation Notices for the first round until the sum of losses allocated equals $3 billion. Once the $3 billion is allocated, the first round would end and DTC would need a second round in order to allocate the remaining $1 billion of loss. DTC would then issue a Loss Allocation Notice for the $1 billion and this notice would be the first Loss Allocation Notice for the second round. The issuance of the Loss Allocation Notice for the $1 billion would begin the second round.

The proposed rule change would link the Loss Allocation Cap to a round in order to provide Participants the option to limit their loss allocation exposure at the beginning of each round. As proposed, a Participant could limit its loss allocation exposure to its Loss Allocation Cap by providing notice of its election to terminate its business with DTC within five (5) Business Days after the issuance of the first Loss Allocation Notice in any round.

The proposed rule changes relating to the implementation of “rounds” and Loss Allocation Notices are set forth in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

(4) Capping Terminating Participants' Loss Allocation Exposure and Related Changes

As discussed above, the proposed rule change would continue to provide Participants the opportunity to limit their loss allocation exposure by offering a termination option; however, the associated withdrawal process would be modified.

As proposed, if a Participant provides notice of its election to terminate its Start Printed Page 4302business with DTC as provided in proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4, its maximum payment obligation with respect to any loss allocation round would be the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed on the first day of the Event Period, plus 100% of the amount thereof (“Loss Allocation Cap”),[33] provided that the Participant complies with the requirements of the termination process in proposed Section 6 of Rule 4. DTC may retain the entire Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant subject to loss allocation, up to the Participant's Loss Allocation Cap. If a Participant's Loss Allocation Cap exceeds the Participant's then-current Required Participants Fund Deposit, it must still pay the excess amount.

As proposed, Participants would have five (5) Business Days from the issuance of the first Loss Allocation Notice in any round to decide whether to terminate its business with DTC, and thereby benefit from its Loss Allocation Cap. The start of each round [34] would allow a Participant the opportunity to notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC after satisfaction of the losses allocated in such round.

Specifically, the first round and each subsequent round of loss allocation would allocate losses up to a round cap of the aggregate of all Loss Allocation Caps of those Participants included in the round. If a Participant provides notice of its election to terminate its business with DTC, it would be subject to loss allocation in that round, up to its Loss Allocation Cap. If the first round of loss allocation does not fully cover DTC's losses, a second round will be noticed to those Participants that did not elect to terminate in the previous round. As noted above, the amount of any second or subsequent round cap may differ from the first or preceding round cap because there may be fewer Participants in a second or subsequent round if Participants elect to terminate their business with DTC as provided in proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4 following the first Loss Allocation Notice in any round.

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, in order to avail itself of its Loss Allocation Cap, the Participant would need to follow the requirements in proposed Section 6 of Rule 4. In addition to retaining the substance of the existing requirements for any termination that are set forth in Section 6 of current Rule 4, proposed Section 6 also would provide that a Participant that provides a termination notice in connection with a loss allocation must: (1) Specify in the termination notice an effective date of termination (“Participant Termination Date”), which date shall be no later than ten (10) Business Days following the last day of the applicable Loss Allocation Termination Notification Period; (2) cease all activity that would result in transactions being submitted to DTC for clearance and settlement after the Participant Termination Date; and (3) ensure that all activities and use of DTC services for which such Participant may have any obligation to DTC cease prior to the Participant Termination Date.

The proposed rule changes are designed to enable DTC to continue the loss allocation process in successive rounds until all of DTC's losses are allocated. Until all losses related to an Event Period are allocated and paid, DTC may retain the entire Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant subject to loss allocation, up to the Participant's Loss Allocation Cap.

The proposed rule changes relating to capping terminating Participants' loss allocation exposure and related changes to the termination process are set forth in proposed Sections 5, 6, and 8 of Rule 4.

C. Clarifying Changes Relating to Loss Allocation for Non-Default Events

The proposed rule changes are intended to make the provisions in the Rules governing loss allocation more transparent and accessible to Participants. In particular, DTC is proposing the following change relating to loss allocation to provide clarity around the governance for the allocation of losses arising from a non-default event.[35]

Currently, DTC can use the Participants Fund to satisfy losses and liabilities arising from a Participant Default or arising from an event that is not due to a Participant Default (i.e., a non-default loss), provided that such loss or liability is incident to the business of DTC.[36]

DTC is proposing to clarify the governance around non-default losses that would trigger loss allocation to Participants by specifying that the Board of Directors would have to determine that there is a non-default loss that may be a significant and substantial loss or liability that may materially impair the ability of DTC to provide clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner and will potentially generate losses to be mutualized among the Participants in order to ensure that DTC may continue to offer clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner. The proposed rule change would provide that DTC would then be required to promptly notify Participants of this determination, which is referred to in the proposed rule as a Declared Non-Default Loss Event, as discussed above.

Finally, as previously discussed, pursuant to the proposed rule change, proposed Rule 4 would include language to clarify that (i) the Corporate Contribution would apply to losses or liabilities arising from a Default Loss Event or a Declared Non-Default Loss Event, and (ii) the loss allocation waterfall would be applied in the same manner regardless of whether a loss arises from a Default Loss Event or a Declared Non-Default Loss Event.

The proposed rule changes relating to Declared Non-Default Loss Events and Participants' obligations for such events are set forth in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

D. Changes to the Retention Time for the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Former Participant.

Current Rule 4 provides that after three months from when a Person has ceased to be a Participant, DTC shall return to such Person (or its successor in interest or legal representative) the amount of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the former Participant plus accrued and unpaid interest to the date of such payment (including any amount added to the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the former Participant through the sale of the Participant's Preferred Stock), provided that DTC receives such indemnities and guarantees as DTC deems satisfactory with respect to the matured and contingent obligations of the former Participant to DTC. Otherwise, within four years after a Person has ceased to be a Participant, DTC shall return to such Person (or its successor in interest or legal representative) the amount of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the former Participant plus accrued and unpaid interest to the date of such payment, except that DTC may offset against such payment the amount of any known loss or liability to DTC arising out of or related to the obligations of the former Participant to DTC.

DTC is proposing to reduce the time, after a Participant ceases to be a Participant, at which DTC would be Start Printed Page 4303required to return the amount of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the former Participant plus accrued and unpaid interest, whether the Participant ceases to be such because it elected to terminate its business with DTC in response to a Settlement Charge Notice or Loss Allocation Notice or otherwise. Pursuant to the proposed rule change, the time period would be reduced from four (4) years to two (2) years. All other requirements relating to the return of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit would remain the same.

The four (4) year retention period was implemented at a time when there were more deposits and processing of physical certificates, as well as added risks related to manual processing, and related claims could surface many years after an alleged event. DTC believes that the change to two (2) years is appropriate because, currently, as DTC and the industry continue to move toward automation and dematerialization, claims typically surface more quickly. Therefore, DTC believes that a shorter retention period of two (2) years would be sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of coverage for possible claims arising in connection with the activities of a former Participant, while allowing DTC to provide some relief to former Participants by returning their Actual Participants Fund Deposits more quickly.

(ii) Proposed Rule Changes

The foregoing changes as well as other changes (including a number of technical and conforming changes) that DTC is proposing in order to improve the transparency and accessibility of Rule 4 are described in detail below.

A. Changes Relating to the Retention of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Former Participant

Section 1(h) (Proposed Section 1(g))

As discussed above, DTC is proposing to replace “four” years with “two” years, in order to reduce the time within which DTC would be required to return the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a former Participant. In addition, DTC is proposing to (i) add the heading “Return of Participants Fund Deposits to Participants” to proposed Section 1(g), (ii) update a cross reference, and (iii) correct two typographical errors.

B. Changes Relating to Participant Default, Pro Rata Settlement Charges and Loss Allocation

Section 3

As discussed above, Section 3 of current Rule 4 provides that, if a Participant fails to satisfy an obligation to DTC, DTC may, in such order and in such amounts as DTC determines, apply the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the defaulting Participant, Pledge the shares of Preferred Stock of the defaulting Participant to its lenders as collateral security for a loan, and/or sell the shares of Preferred Stock of the defaulting Participant to other Participants. Pursuant to the proposed rule change, Section 3 would retain most of these provisions, with the following modifications:

DTC proposes to add the term “Participant Default” in proposed Section 3 as a defined term for the failure of a Participant to satisfy an obligation to DTC, for drafting clarity and use in related provisions. In addition, the proposed rule change clarifies that, in the case of a Participant Default, DTC would first apply the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the Participant to any unsatisfied obligations, before taking any other actions. This proposed clarification would reflect the current practice of DTC, and would provide Participants with enhanced transparency into the actions DTC would take with respect to the Participants Fund deposits and Participants Investment of a Participant that has failed to satisfy its obligations to DTC.

DTC proposes to correct the term “End-of-Day Facility,” to the existing defined term “End-of-Day Credit Facility.” DTC further proposes to clarify that, if DTC pledges some or all of the shares of Preferred Stock of a Participant to its lenders as collateral security for a loan under the End-of-Day Credit Facility, DTC would apply the proceeds of such loan to the obligation the Participant had failed to satisfy, which is not expressly stated in Section 3 of current Rule 4.

In addition, DTC is proposing to make three ministerial changes to enhance readability by: (i) Removing the duplicative “in,” in the phrase “in such order and in such amounts,” (ii) replacing the word “eliminate” with “satisfy,” and (iii) to conform to proposed changes, renumbering the list of actions that DTC may take when there is a Participant Default.

DTC is also proposing to add the heading “Application of Participants Fund Deposits and Preferred Stock Investments to Participant Default” to Section 3.

Section 4 and Section 5

As noted above, Section 4 of current Rule 4 provides that if DTC incurs a loss or liability which is not satisfied by charging the Participant responsible for the loss pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 4, then DTC may, in any order and in any amount as DTC may determine, in its sole discretion, to the extent necessary to satisfy such loss or liability, ratably apply some or all of the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of all other Participants to such loss or liability and/or charge the existing retained earnings and undivided profits of DTC. This provision relates to losses and liabilities that may be due to the failure of a Participant to satisfy obligations to DTC, if the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of that Participant does not fully satisfy the obligation, or to losses and liabilities for which no single Participant is obligated, i.e., a “non-default loss.”

As discussed above, current Rule 4 currently provides a single set of tools and common processes for using the Participants Fund as both a liquidity resource and for the satisfaction of other losses and liabilities. The proposed rule change would provide separate liquidity and loss allocation provisions. More specifically, proposed Section 4 of Rule 4 would reflect the process for a “pro rata settlement charge,” the application of the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants for liquidity purposes in order to complete settlement, when a Participant fails to satisfy its settlement obligation and the amount charged to its Actual Participants Fund Deposit by DTC pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 4 is insufficient to complete settlement. Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would contain the proposed loss allocation provisions.

Proposed Section 4

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, current Section 4 would be replaced in its entirety by proposed Section 4, and titled “Application of Participants Fund Deposits of Non-Defaulting Participants.” First, for clarity, proposed Section 4 would expressly state that “The Participants Fund shall constitute a liquidity resource which may be applied by the Corporation in such amounts as the Corporation shall determine, in its sole discretion, to fund settlement among non-defaulting Participants in the event of the failure of a Participant to satisfy its settlement obligation on any Business Day. If the amount charged to the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant pursuant to Section 3 of this Rule is not sufficient to complete settlement among non-defaulting Participants on that Business Day, the Corporation may apply the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants as provided in this Section and/or apply such other Start Printed Page 4304liquidity resources as may be available to the Corporation from time to time, including the End-of-Day Credit Facility.”

Proposed Section 4 would retain the current principle that DTC must notify Participants and the Commission when it applies the Participants Fund deposits of non-defaulting Participants, by stating that if the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants are applied to complete settlement, DTC must promptly notify each Participant and the Commission of the amount of the charge and the reasons therefor, and would define such notice as a Settlement Charge Notice.

Proposed Section 4 would retain the current calculation of pro rata charges by providing that each non-defaulting Participant's [37] pro rata share of any such application of the Participants Fund, defined as a “pro rata settlement charge,” shall be equal to (i) its Required Participants Fund Deposit, as such Required Participants Fund Deposit was fixed on the Business Day of such application [38] less its Additional Participants Fund Deposit, if any, on that day, divided by (ii) the sum of the Required Participants Fund Deposits of all non-defaulting Participants, as such Required Participants Fund Deposits were fixed on that day, less the sum of the Additional Participants Fund Deposits, if any, of such non-defaulting Participants on that day.

Proposed Section 4 would also provide a period of time within which a Participant could notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC and thereby cap its liability, by providing that a Participant shall have a period of five (5) Business Days following the issuance of a Settlement Charge Notice (“Settlement Charge Termination Notification Period”) to notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC pursuant to proposed Section 8(a), and thereby benefit from its Settlement Charge Cap, as set forth in proposed Section 8(a).[39] Proposed Section 4 would also require that any Participant that gives DTC notice of its election to terminate its business with DTC must comply with proposed Section 6 of Rule 4,[40] and if it does not, its election to terminate shall be deemed void.

Proposed Section 4 would further provide that DTC may retain the entire amount of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant subject to a pro rata settlement charge, up to the amount of the Participant's Settlement Charge Cap in accordance with proposed Section 8(a) of Rule 4.

Section 5 of current Rule 4 provides that “Except as provided in Section 8 of this Rule, if a pro rata charge is made pursuant to Section 4 of the current Rule against the Required Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant, and, as a consequence, the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of such Participant is less than its Required Participants Fund Deposit, the Participant shall, upon the demand of the Corporation, within such time as the Corporation shall require, Deposit to the Participants Fund the amount in cash needed to eliminate any resulting deficiency in its Required Participants Fund Deposit. If the Participant shall fail to make such deposit to the Participants Fund, the Corporation may take disciplinary action against the Participant pursuant to these Rules. Any disciplinary action which the Corporation takes pursuant to these Rules, or the voluntary or involuntary cessation of participation by the Participant, shall not affect the obligations of the Participant to the Corporation or any remedy to which the Corporation may be entitled under applicable law.”

Proposed Section 4 would incorporate Section 5 of current Rule 4, modified as follows: (i) Conformed to reflect the consolidation of Section 5 into proposed Section 4, (ii) replacement of “Except as provided in” with “Subject to,” to harmonize with language used elsewhere in proposed Rule 4, and (iii) corrections of two typographical errors, in order to accurately reflect that the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant would be applied, and not the Required Participants Fund Deposit, and to capitalize the word “deposit” because it is a defined term.

Proposed Section 5

Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would address the substantially new and revised proposed loss allocation, which would apply to losses and liabilities relating to or arising out of a Default Loss Event or a Declared Non-Default Loss Event. Pursuant to the proposed rule change, DTC would restructure and modify its existing loss allocation waterfall as described below. The heading “Loss Allocation Waterfall” would be added to proposed Section 5.

Proposed Section 5 would establish the concept of an “Event Period” to provide for a clear and transparent way of handling multiple loss events occurring in a period of ten (10) Business Days, which would be grouped into an Event Period. As stated above, both Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events could occur within the same Event Period.

The Event Period with respect to a Default Loss Event would begin on the day on which DTC notifies Participants that it has ceased to act for the Participant (or the next Business Day, if such day is not a Business Day). In the case of a Declared Non-Default Loss Event, the Event Period would begin on the day that DTC notifies Participants of the determination by the Board of Directors that the applicable loss or liability incident to the business of DTC may be a significant and substantial loss or liability that may materially impair the ability of DTC to provide clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner and will potentially generate losses to be mutualized among Participants in order to ensure that DTC may continue to offer clearance and settlement services in an orderly manner. Proposed Section 5 would provide that if a subsequent Default Loss Event or Declared Non-Default Loss Event occurs during an Event Period, any losses or liabilities arising out of or relating to any such subsequent event would be resolved as losses or liabilities that are part of the same Event Period, without extending the duration of such Event Period.

Under proposed Section 5, the loss allocation waterfall would begin with a new mandatory Corporate Contribution from DTC. Rule 4 currently provides that the use of any retained earnings and undivided profits by DTC is a voluntary contribution of a discretionary amount of its retained earnings. Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would, instead, require a defined corporate contribution to losses and liabilities that are incurred by DTC with respect to an Event Period. As proposed, the Corporate Contribution to losses or liabilities that are incurred by DTC with respect to an Event Period would be defined as an amount that is equal to fifty percent (50%) of the amount calculated by DTC in respect of its General Business Risk Capital Requirement as of the end of the calendar quarter immediately preceding the Event Period.[41] DTC's General Business Risk Capital Requirement, as defined in DTC's Clearing Agency Policy on Capital Requirements,[42] is, at a minimum, equal to the regulatory capital that DTC is required to maintain in compliance with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(15) under the Act.[43]

If DTC applies the Corporate Contribution to a loss or liability arising out of or relating to one or more Default Start Printed Page 4305Loss Events or Declared Non-Default Loss Events relating to an Event Period, then for any subsequent Event Periods that occur during the next two hundred fifty (250) Business Days, the Corporate Contribution would be reduced to the remaining unused portion of the Corporate Contribution amount that was applied for the first Event Period.[44] Proposed Section 5 would require DTC to notify Participants of any such reduction to the Corporate Contribution.

Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would provide that nothing in the Rules would prevent DTC from voluntarily applying amounts greater than the Corporate Contribution against any DTC loss or liability, if the Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, believes such to be appropriate under the factual situation existing at the time.

Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would provide that DTC shall apply the Corporate Contribution to losses and liabilities that arise out of or relate to one or more Default Loss Events and/or Declared Non-Default Loss Events that occur within an Event Period. The proposed rule change also provides that if losses and liabilities with respect to such Event Period remain unsatisfied following application of the Corporate Contribution, DTC would allocate such losses and liabilities to Participants, as described below.

Proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would state that all Participants would be subject to loss allocation for losses and liabilities arising out of or relating to a Declared Non-Default Loss Event; however, in the case of losses and liabilities arising out of or relating to a Default Loss Event, only non-defaulting Participants would be subject to loss allocation. In addition, DTC is proposing to clarify that after a first round of loss allocations with respect to an Event Period, only Participants that have not submitted a Termination Notice in accordance with proposed Section 6(b) of Rule 4 would be subject to loss allocations with respect to subsequent rounds relating to that Event Period. The proposed change would also provide that DTC may retain the entire Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant subject to loss allocation, up to the Participant's Loss Allocation Cap in accordance with proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4.

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, DTC would notify Participants subject to loss allocation of the amounts being allocated to them by a Loss Allocation Notice in successive rounds of loss allocations. Proposed Section 5 would state that a loss allocation “round” would mean a series of loss allocations relating to an Event Period, the aggregate amount of which is limited by the sum of the Loss Allocation Caps of affected Participants (a “round cap”). When the aggregate amount of losses allocated in a round equals the round cap, any additional losses relating to the applicable Event Period would be allocated in one or more subsequent rounds, in each case subject to a round cap for that round. DTC may continue the loss allocation process in successive rounds until all losses from the Event Period are allocated among Participants that have not submitted a Termination Notice in accordance with proposed Section 6(b) of Rule 4.

Each loss allocation would be communicated to Participants by issuance of a Loss Allocation Notice. Each Loss Allocation Notice would specify the relevant Event Period and the round to which it relates. The first Loss Allocation Notice in any first, second, or subsequent round would expressly state that such Loss Allocation Notice reflects the beginning of the first, second, or subsequent round, as the case may be, and that each Participant in that round has five (5) Business Days from the issuance of such first Loss Allocation Notice for the round [45] to notify DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC pursuant to proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4, and thereby benefit from its Loss Allocation Cap.[46]

Loss allocation obligations would continue to be calculated based upon a Participant's pro rata share of the loss.[47] As proposed, each Participant's pro rata share of losses and liabilities to be allocated in any round shall be equal to (i) (A) its Required Participants Fund Deposit, as such Required Participants Fund Deposit was fixed on the first day of the Event Period,[48] less (B) its Additional Participants Fund Deposit, if any, on such day, divided by (ii) (A) the sum of the Required Participants Fund Deposits of all Participants subject to loss allocation in such round, as such Required Participants Fund Deposits were fixed on such day, less (B) the sum of any Additional Participants Fund Deposits, if any, of all Participants subject to loss allocation in such round on such day.[49]

As proposed, Participants would have two (2) Business Days after DTC issues a first round Loss Allocation Notice to pay the amount specified in any such notice. In contrast to the current Section 4, under which DTC may apply the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of Participants directly to the satisfaction of loss allocation amounts, under proposed Section 5, DTC would require Participants to pay their loss allocation amounts (leaving their Actual Participants Fund Deposits intact).[50] On a subsequent round (i.e., if the first round did not cover the entire loss of the Event Period because DTC was only able to allocate up to the sum of the Loss Allocation Caps of those Participants included in the round), Participants would also have two (2) Business Days after notice by DTC to pay their loss allocation amounts (again subject to their Loss Allocation Caps), unless a Participant timely notified (or will timely notify) DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC with respect to a prior loss allocation round.

Under the proposal, if a Participant fails to make its required payment in respect of a Loss Allocation Notice by the time such payment is due, DTC would have the right to proceed against such Participant as a Participant that has failed to satisfy an obligation in accordance with proposed Section 3 of Rule 4 described above. Participants who wish to terminate their business with DTC would be required to comply with the requirements in proposed Section 6 of Rule 4, described further below. Specifically, proposed Section 5 would provide that if, after notifying DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC pursuant to proposed Section 8(b) of Rule 4, the Participant fails to comply with the provisions of proposed Section 6 of Rule 4, its notice of termination would be deemed void and any further losses resulting from the applicable Event Period may be allocated against it as if it had not given such notice.

Section 6

Section 6 of Rule 4 currently provides that whenever a Participant ceases to be such, it continues to be obligated (a) to satisfy any deficiency in the amount of its Required Participants Fund Deposit and/or Required Preferred Stock Investment that it did not satisfy prior to such time, including (i) any deficiency resulting from a pro rata charge with respect to which the Participant has given notice to DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC pursuant to Section 8 of Rule 4 and (ii) any deficiency the Participant is required to satisfy pursuant to Sections 3 (an obligation that a Start Printed Page 4306Participant failed to satisfy) or 5 (the requirement of a Participant to eliminate the deficiency in its Required Participants Fund Deposit) of Rule 4 and (b) to discharge any liability of the Participant to DTC resulting from the transactions of the Participant open at the time it ceases to be a Participant or on account of transactions occurring while it was a Participant.

Proposed Section 6 of Rule 4, titled “Obligations of Participant Upon Termination,” would consolidate the termination requirements from Section 6 of current Rule 4 into proposed Section 6(a), titled “Upon Any Termination,” and would modify them to conform to other proposed rule changes. Specifically, proposed Section 6(a) would state that, subject to proposed Section 8 of the Rule, whenever a Participant ceases to be such, it shall continue to be obligated (i) to satisfy any deficiency in the amounts of its Required Participants Fund Deposit and/or Required Preferred Stock Investment that it did not satisfy prior to such time, including any deficiency the Participant is required to satisfy pursuant to proposed Sections 3 or 4 of the Rule, and (ii) to discharge any liability of the Participant to DTC resulting from the transactions of the Participant open at the time it ceases to be a Participant or on account of transactions occurring while it was a Participant.

Proposed Section 6(b), titled “Upon Termination Following Settlement Charge or Loss Allocation,” would state that if a Participant timely notifies DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC in respect of a pro rata settlement charge as set forth in proposed Section 4 of Rule 4 or a loss allocation as set forth in proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 (“Termination Notice”), the Participant would be required to: (1) Specify in the Termination Notice a Participant Termination Date, which date shall be no later than ten Business Days following the last day of the applicable Settlement Charge Termination Notification Period or Loss Allocation Termination Notification Period; (2) cease all activity that would result in transactions being submitted to DTC for clearance and settlement after the Participant Termination Date; and (3) ensure that all activities and use of DTC services for which such Participant may have any obligation to DTC cease prior to the Participant Termination Date.

DTC is proposing to include a sentence in proposed Section 6(b) to make it clear that if the Participant fails to comply with the requirements set forth in this section, its Termination Notice will be deemed void, and the Participant will remain subject to further pro rata settlement charges pursuant to proposed Section 4 of Rule 4 or loss allocations pursuant to proposed Section 5 of Rule 4, as applicable, as if it had not given such notice.

Section 8

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, Section 8 would be titled “Termination; Obligation for Pro Rata Settlement Charges and Loss Allocations,” and would be divided among proposed Section 8(a) “Settlement Charges,” proposed Section 8(b) “Loss Allocations,” proposed Section 8(c) “Maximum Obligation,” and proposed Section 8(d) “Obligation to Replenish Deposit.”

Pursuant to proposed Section 8(a), if a Participant, within five (5) Business Days after issuance of a Settlement Charge Notice pursuant to proposed Section 4 of Rule 4, gives notice to DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC, the Participant would remain obligated for (i) its pro rata settlement charge that was the subject of such Settlement Charge Notice and (ii) all other pro rata settlement charges made by DTC until the Participant Termination Date. Proposed Section 8(a) would provide that the terminating Participant's obligation would be limited to the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed on the day of the pro rata settlement charge that was the subject of the Settlement Charge Notice, plus 100% of the amount thereof, which is substantively the same limitation as provided for pro rata charges in Section 8 of current Rule 4.[51]

Pursuant to proposed Section 8(b), if a Participant, within five (5) Business Days after the issuance of a first Loss Allocation Notice for any round pursuant to proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 gives notice to DTC of its election to terminate its business with DTC, the Participant shall remain liable for (i) the loss allocation that was the subject of such notice and (ii) all other loss allocations made by DTC with respect to the same Event Period. The obligation of a Participant which elects to terminate its business with DTC would be limited to the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed on the first day of the Event Period, plus 100% of the amount thereof, which is substantively the same limitation as provided for pro rata charges in Section 8 of current Rule 4.[52]

Proposed Section 8(c) would provide that under no circumstances would the aggregate obligation of a Participant under proposed Section 8(a) and proposed Section 8(b) exceed the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed on the earlier of the (i) day of the pro rata settlement charge that was the subject of the Settlement Charge Notice giving rise to a Termination Notice, and (ii) first day of the Event Period that was the subject of the first Loss Allocation Notice in a round giving rise to a Termination Notice, plus 100% of the amount thereof. The purpose of proposed Section 8(c) is to address a situation where a Participant could otherwise be subject to both a Settlement Charge Cap and Loss Allocation Cap.

Proposed Section 8(d) would retain the last paragraph in Section 8 of current Rule 4, replacing “pro rata charge” with “pro rata settlement charge” and “loss allocation.” [53] Proposed Section 8(d) would provide that if the amount of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a Participant is insufficient to satisfy a pro rata settlement charge pursuant to proposed Section 4 and proposed Section 8(a) or a loss allocation pursuant to proposed Section 5 and proposed Section 8(b), the Participant would be obligated to Deposit the amount of any such deficiency to the Participants Fund notwithstanding the fact that the Participant subsequently ceases to be a Participant.

Section 9

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, proposed Section 9 of Rule 4 would provide that the recovery and repayment provisions in current Rule 4 apply to both pro rata settlement charges and loss allocations.[54] Specifically, proposed Section 9 would provide that if an amount is charged ratably pursuant to proposed Section 4 or allocated ratably pursuant to proposed Section 5 and such amount is recovered by DTC, in whole or in part, the net amount of the recovery shall be repaid ratably (on the same basis that it was originally charged or allocated) to the Persons against which the amount Start Printed Page 4307was originally charged or allocated by (i) crediting the appropriate amounts to the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of Persons which are still Participants and (ii) paying the appropriate amounts in cash to Persons which are not still Participants.

DTC further proposes to add the heading “Recovery and Repayment” to proposed Section 9.

C. Other Proposed Clarifying, Conforming and Technical Changes to Rule 4

Section 1

Section 1(a) and Section 1(b). Section 1(a) addresses, among other things, the formula for determining the Required Participants Fund Deposits of Participants. DTC is proposing to insert the words “or wind-down” to make it clear that the formulas for determining the Required Participants Fund Deposits of Participants and the amount of the minimum Required Participants Fund Deposit would be fixed by DTC so as to assure that the aggregate amount of Required Participants Fund Deposits of Participants will be increased to provide for the costs and expenses incurred by it incidental to the wind-down of DTC, in addition to the voluntary liquidation of DTC.[55] Further, DTC proposes to delete the extraneous phrase “if any.” For increased clarity and readability, DTC is proposing to consolidate Section 1(b) into Section 1(a), and to relocate the sentences “The Corporation may require a Participant to Deposit an additional amount to the Participants Fund pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 9(A). Any such additional amount shall be part of the Required Participants Fund Deposit of such Participant.” from Section 1(a) to a new proposed Section 1(b). In addition to the relocation, DTC would add a defined term for such additional amount, as “Additional Participants Fund Deposit,” for drafting convenience and transparency throughout proposed Rule 4. Further, DTC proposes to add the headings “Required Participants Fund Deposits” and “Additional Participants Fund Deposits” to Section 1(a) and proposed Section 1(b), respectively.

Section 1(c). For enhanced readability, DTC is proposing to add the heading “Voluntary Participants Fund Deposits” to Section 1(c) of Rule 4, and to replace the word “as” with “in the manner.”

Section 1(d). For enhanced clarity, DTC is proposing to modify Section 1(d) to make it clear that any Additional Participants Fund Deposit is required to be in cash. DTC is also proposing to delete the extraneous phrase “pursuant to this Section” and to replace language regarding Section 2 of Rule 9(A) with the proposed defined term “Additional Participants Fund Deposit.” Further, DTC proposes to add the heading “Cash Participants Fund” to Section 1(d) of Rule 4.

Section 1(e). For enhanced clarity, DTC is proposing to add the language “among Account Families” to clarify the scope of the allocation described in Section 1(e). In addition, DTC proposes to add the heading “Allocation of Participants Fund Deposits Among Account Families” to Section 1(e) of Rule 4.

Section 1(f). Section 1(f) addresses, among other things, the permitted use of the Participants Fund. For consistency with the balance of Section 1(f), the first paragraph would be amended to state that the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of Participants “may be used or invested” instead of stating “shall be applied.” Section 1(f) provides, in part, that the Participants Fund is limited to the satisfaction of losses or liabilities of DTC incident to the business of DTC. Section 1(f) currently defines “business” with respect to DTC as “the doing of all things in connection with or relating to [DTC's] performance of the services specified in the first and second paragraphs of Rule 6 or the cessation of such services.” For enhanced transparency of the permitted uses of the Participants Fund, proposed Section 1(f) would be amended to explicitly state that the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of Participants may be used (i) to satisfy the obligations of Participants to DTC, as provided in proposed Section 3, (ii) to fund settlement among non-defaulting Participants, as provided in proposed Section 4 and (iii) to satisfy losses and liabilities of DTC incident to the business of DTC, as provided in proposed Section 5. Section 1(f) would also be amended to make the definition of “business” applicable to the entirety of Rule 4, instead of just Section 1(f), as the term would appear elsewhere in the rule pursuant to the proposed rule change. In addition, DTC proposes to add the heading “Maintenance, Permitted Use and Investment of Participants Fund” to Section 1(f) of Rule 4.

Section 1(g) (consolidated into proposed Section 1(f)). Pursuant to the proposed rule change, DTC would consolidate current Section 1(g) into proposed Section 1(f), and modify language to make it clear that DTC may invest cash in the Participants Fund in accordance with the Clearing Agency Investment Policy adopted by DTC.[56] Further, language would be streamlined by replacing “securities, repurchase agreements or deposits” with “financial assets,” and “securities and repurchase agreements in which such cash is invested” with “its investment of such cash.”

Section 2

Pursuant to the proposed rule change, Section 2 of Rule 4 would be titled “Participants Investment.”

Section 2(a)-2(d) (Proposed Section 2(a)). For clarity, DTC is proposing to consolidate Sections 2(b)-2(d) into proposed Section 2(a) and would add the heading “Required Preferred Stock Investments” to proposed Section 2(a). In addition, DTC proposes to modify certain language to update references and cross-references to specific subsections to reflect the proposed changes to the numbering of the subsections in proposed Section 2 of Rule 4.

Section 2(e) (Proposed Section 2(b)). For enhanced clarity, DTC is proposing to add the language “among Account Families” to clarify the scope of the allocation described in proposed Section 2(b). In addition, DTC proposes to add the heading “Allocation of Preferred Stock Investments Among Account Families” to proposed Section 2(b) of Rule 4.

Section 2(f) (Proposed Section 2(c)). DTC is proposing to add language to clarify that when any Pledge of a Preferred Stock Security Interest pursuant to proposed Section 2(c) of Rule 4 is made by appropriate entries on the books of DTC, the Rules, in addition to such entries, shall be deemed to be a security agreement for purposes of the New York Uniform Commercial Code. In addition, DTC proposes to update a cross-reference to proposed Section 2(c). In addition, DTC proposes to add the heading “Security Interest in Preferred Stock Investments of Participants” to proposed Section 2(c).

Sections 2(g)-2(i) (Proposed Sections 2(d)-2(f)). DTC proposes to add the headings “Dividends on Preferred Stock Investments of Participants,” “Sale of Preferred Stock Investments of Start Printed Page 4308Participants,” and “Permitted Transfers of Preferred Stock Investments of Participants” to proposed Sections 2(d), 2(e), and 2(f), respectively. Proposed Sections 2(e) and 2(f) would be modified to update cross-references to certain subsections. In addition, proposed Section 2(f) would be modified to renumber paragraphs and internal lists for consistency with the numbering schemes in Rule 4.

Section 7. For clarity, DTC is proposing to amend Section 7 of Rule 4 to (i) replace language referencing Additional Participants Fund Deposits with the proposed defined term, (ii) update cross-references to reflect proposed renumbering, and (iii) add the headings “Increased Participants Fund Deposits and Preferred Stock Investments,” “Required Participants Fund Deposits,” and “Required Preferred Stock Investments” to proposed Sections 7, 7(a) and 7(b) of Rule 4, respectively.

D. Proposed Changes to Rule 1

DTC is proposing to amend Rule 1 (Definitions; Governing Law) to add cross-references to proposed terms that would be defined in Rule 4, and to delete one defined term. The defined terms to be added are: “Additional Participants Fund Deposit,” “Corporate Contribution,” “Declared Non-Default Loss Event,” “Default Loss Event,” “Event Period,” “Loss Allocation Cap,” “Loss Allocation Notice,” “Loss Allocation Termination Notification Period,” “Participant Default,” “Participant Termination Date,” “Settlement Charge Cap,” “Settlement Charge Notice,” “Settlement Charge Termination Notification Period,” and “Termination Notice”. The term “Section 8 Pro Rata Charge” would be deleted from Rule 1, because it would be deleted from proposed Rule 4 as no longer necessary.

Participant Outreach

Beginning in August 2017, DTC has conducted outreach to Participants in order to provide them with advance notice of the proposed changes. As of the date of this filing, no written comments relating to the proposed changes have been received in response to this outreach. The Commission will be notified of any written comments received.

Implementation Timeframe

Pending Commission approval, DTC expects to implement this proposal promptly. Participants would be advised of the implementation date of this proposal through issuance of a DTC Important Notice.

Expected Effect on Risks to the Clearing Agency, Its Participants and the Market

DTC believes that the proposed rule changes to clarify the remedies available to DTC with respect to a Participant Default, including the application of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource, and by clarifying and providing the related processes, would provide clarity as to the application of the Participants Fund to fund settlement and would mitigate any risk to settlement finality due to Participant Default.

DTC believes that the proposed rule change to enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process and to shorten the time within which DTC is required to return the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a former Participant would reduce the risk of uncertainty to DTC, its Participants and the market overall.

By replacing the discretionary application of DTC retained earnings to losses and liabilities with a mandatory and defined amount of the Corporate Contribution, the proposed rule change is designed to provide enhanced transparency and accessibility to Participants as to how much DTC would contribute in the event of a loss or liability. The proposed rule change also clarifies that the Corporate Contribution applies to both Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events. The proposed rule change would provide greater transparency as to the proposed replenishment period for the Corporate Contribution, which would allow Participants to better assess the adequacy of DTC's loss allocation process. Taken together, the proposed rule changes with respect to the Corporate Contribution would enhance the overall resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process by specifying the calculation and application of DTC's Corporate Contribution, including the proposed replenishment period, and would allow Participants to better assess the adequacy of DTC's loss allocation process.

By introducing the concept of an Event Period, DTC would be able to group Default Loss Events and Declared Non-Default Loss Events occurring within a period of ten (10) Business Days for purposes of allocating losses to Participants. DTC believes that the Event Period would provide a defined structure for the loss allocation process to encompass potential sequential Default Loss Events or Declared Non-Default Loss Events that may or may not be closely linked to an initial event and/or a market dislocation episode. Having this structure would enhance the overall resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process because the proposed rule would expressly address losses that may arise from multiple Default Loss Events and/or Declared Non-Default Loss Events that arise in quick succession. Moreover, the proposed Event Period structure would provide certainty for Participants concerning their maximum exposure to mutualized loss allocation with respect to such events.

By introducing the concept of “rounds” (and accompanying Loss Allocation Notices) and applying this concept to the timing of loss allocation payments and the Participant termination process in connection with the loss allocation process, DTC would (i) set forth a defined amount that it would allocate to Participants during each round (i.e., the round cap), (ii) advise Participants of loss allocation obligation information as well as round information through the issuance of Loss Allocation Notices, and (iii) provide Participants with the option to limit their loss allocation exposure after the issuance of the first Loss Allocation Notice in each round. These proposed rule changes would enhance the overall resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process because they would expressly permit DTC to continue the loss allocation process in successive rounds until all of DTC's losses are allocated and enable DTC to identify continuing Participants for purposes of calculating subsequent loss allocation obligations in successive rounds. Moreover, the proposed rule changes would define for Participants a clear manner and process in which they could cap their loss allocation exposure to DTC.

By reducing the time within which DTC is required to return the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of a former Participant, DTC would enable firms that have exited DTC to have access to their funds sooner than under current Rule 4 while maintaining the protection of DTC and its provision of clearance and settlement services. DTC would continue to be protected under the proposed rule change, which will maintain the provision that DTC may offset the return of funds against the amount of any loss or liability of DTC arising out of or relating to the obligations of the former Participant to DTC, and would provide that DTC could retain the funds for up to two (2) years. As such, DTC would maintain a necessary level of coverage for possible claims arising in connection with the DTC activities of a former Participant.

Management of Identified Risks

DTC is proposing the rule changes as described in detail above in order to (i) Start Printed Page 4309provide clarity as to the application of the Participants Fund to fund settlement when a Participant fails to settle, (ii) enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process, and (iii) provide clarity and certainty to Participants regarding DTC's loss allocation process.

Consistency With the Clearing Supervision Act

The proposed rule change would be consistent with Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act.[57] The objectives and principles of Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act are to promote robust risk management, promote safety and soundness, reduce systemic risks, and support the stability of the broader financial system.[58]

The proposed rule change would provide clarity and certainty around the use of the Participants Fund in connection with a Participant Default by expressly providing for the application of the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the defaulting Participant to its unpaid obligations, and by providing a defined process for pro rata settlement charges to non-defaulting Participants that is separate from the loss allocation process. Together, these proposed rule changes more clearly specify the rights and obligations of DTC and its Participants in respect of the application of the Participants Fund. Reducing the risk of uncertainty to DTC, its Participants, and the market overall would promote robust risk management, promote safety and soundness, reduce systemic risks, and support the stability of the broader financial system. Therefore, DTC believes that the proposed rule changes to provide clarity and certainty around the use of the Participants Fund in connection with a Participant Default, and to provide a defined process for pro rata settlement charges to the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants, are consistent with the objectives and principles of Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act cited above.

The proposed rule change would enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process by (1) requiring a defined contribution of DTC corporate funds to a loss, (2) introducing an Event Period, and (3) introducing the concept of “rounds” (and accompanying Loss Allocation Notices) and applying this concept to the timing of loss allocation payments and the Participant termination process in connection with the loss allocation process. Together, these proposed rule changes would (i) create greater certainty for Participants regarding DTC's obligation towards a loss, (ii) more clearly specify DTC's and Participants' obligations toward a loss and balance the need to manage the risk of sequential defaults and other potential loss events against Participants' need for certainty concerning their maximum exposures, and (iii) provide Participants the opportunity to limit their exposure to DTC by capping their exposure to loss allocation. Reducing the risk of uncertainty to DTC, its Participants and the market overall would promote robust risk management, promote safety and soundness, reduce systemic risks, and support the stability of the broader financial system. Therefore, DTC believes that the proposed rule change to enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process is consistent with the objectives and principles of Section 805(b) of the Clearing Supervision Act cited above.

The proposed rule change is also consistent with Rules 17Ad-22(e)(7)(i), 17Ad-22(e)(13) and (e)(23)(i), promulgated under the Act.[59]

Rule 17Ad-22(e)(7)(i) under the Act requires, in part, that DTC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to effectively measure, monitor, and manage the liquidity risk that arises in or is borne by DTC, including measuring, monitoring, and managing its settlement and funding flows on an ongoing and timely basis, and its use of intraday liquidity, by maintaining sufficient liquid resources to effect same-day settlement of payment obligations with a high degree of confidence under a wide range of foreseeable stress scenarios.[60] By clarifying the remedies available to DTC with respect to a Participant Default, including the application of the Participants Fund as a liquidity resource, and by clarifying and providing the related processes, the proposed rule change is designed so that DTC may manage its settlement and funding flows on a timely basis and apply the Participants Fund as a liquid resource in order to effect same day settlement of payment obligations with a high degree of confidence. Therefore, DTC believes that the proposed rule changes with respect to the application of the Actual Participants Fund Deposits of non-defaulting Participants to complete settlement are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(7)(i) under the Act.

Rule 17Ad-22(e)(13) under the Act requires, in part, that DTC establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure DTC has the authority and operational capacity to take timely action to contain losses and liquidity demands and continue to meet its obligations.[61] The proposed rule changes to (1) require a defined Corporate Contribution to a loss, (2) introduce an Event Period, (3) introduce the concept of “rounds” (and accompanying Loss Allocation Notices) and apply this concept to the timing of loss allocation payments and the Participant termination process in connection with the loss allocation process, taken together, are designed to enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process. Having a resilient loss allocation process would help ensure that DTC can effectively and timely address losses relating to or arising out of Default Loss Events and/or Declared Non-Default Loss Events, which in turn would help DTC contain losses and continue to conduct its clearance and settlement business. In addition, by providing clarity as to the application of the Participants Fund to fund settlement in the event of a Participant Default, the proposed rule change is designed to clarify that DTC is authorized to use the Participants Fund to fund settlement. Therefore, DTC believes that the proposed rule changes to enhance the resiliency of DTC's loss allocation process, and to provide clarity as to the application of the Participants Fund to fund settlement, are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(13) under the Act.

Rule 17Ad-22(e)(23)(i) under the Act requires DTC to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to publicly disclose all relevant rules and material procedures, including key aspects of DTC's default rules and procedures.[62] The proposed rule changes to (i) separate the provisions for the use of the Participants Fund for settlement and for loss allocation, (ii) make clarifying changes to the provisions regarding the application of the Participants Fund to complete settlement and for the allocation of losses, (iii) further align the loss allocation rules of the DTCC Clearing Agencies, (iv) improve the overall transparency and accessibility of the provisions in the Rules governing loss allocation, and (v) make technical and conforming changes, would not only ensure that DTC's loss allocation rules are, to the extent practicable and appropriate, consistent with the loss Start Printed Page 4310allocation rules of the other DTCC Clearing Agencies, but also would help to ensure that DTC's loss allocation rules are transparent and clear to Participants. Aligning the loss allocation rules of the DTCC Clearing Agencies would provide consistent treatment, to the extent practicable and appropriate, especially for firms that are participants of two or more DTCC Clearing Agencies. Having transparent and clear loss allocation rules would enable Participants to better understand the key aspects of DTC's Rules and Procedures relating to Participant Default, as well as non-default events, and provide Participants with increased predictability and certainty regarding their exposures and obligations. As such, DTC believes that the proposed rule changes with respect to pro rata settlement charges, and to align the loss allocation rules across the DTCC Clearing Agencies and to improve the overall transparency and accessibility of DTC's loss allocation rules are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(23)(i) under the Act.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Advance Notice and Timing for Commission Action

The proposed change may be implemented if the Commission does not object to the proposed change within 60 days of the later of (i) the date that the proposed change was filed with the Commission or (ii) the date that any additional information requested by the Commission is received,[63] unless extended as described below. The clearing agency shall not implement the proposed change if the Commission has any objection to the proposed change.[64]

Pursuant to Section 806(e)(1)(H) of the Clearing Supervision Act,[65] the Commission may extend the review period of an advance notice for an additional 60 days, if the changes proposed in the advance notice raise novel or complex issues, subject to the Commission providing the clearing agency with prompt written notice of the extension.

Here, as the Commission has not requested any additional information, the date that is 60 days after DTC filed the Advance Notice with the Commission is February 16, 2018. However, the Commission is extending the review period of the Advance Notice for an additional 60 days under Section 806(e)(1)(H) of the Clearing Supervision Act [66] because the Commission finds that the Advance Notice raises complex issues. Specifically, the proposed changes are substantial, detailed, and interrelated to corresponding proposals by NSCC and FICC.[67] The proposed changes would provide a comprehensive revision to such loss allocation process when addressing losses from either a Participant Default or a non-default event. In doing so, DTC would clarify certain elements of, introduce new concepts to, and modify other aspects of its loss allocation waterfall as described above. Furthermore, the proposed changes would align the loss allocation rules across all three DTCC Clearing Agencies, in order to help provide consistent treatment of the rules, to the extent practicable and appropriate, especially for firms that are participants of two or more DTCC Clearing Agencies.

Accordingly, pursuant to Section 806(e)(1)(H) of the Clearing Supervision Act,[68] the Commission is extending the review period of the Advance Notice to April 17, 2018 which is the date by which the Commission shall notify the clearing agency of any objection regarding the Advance Notice, unless the Commission requests further information for consideration of the Advance Notice (SR-DTC-2017-804).[69]

The clearing agency shall post notice on its website of proposed changes that are implemented.

The proposal shall not take effect until all regulatory actions required with respect to the proposal are completed.[70]

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-DTC-2017-804. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the Advance Notice that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the Advance Notice between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of DTC and on DTCC's website (http://dtcc.com/​legal/​sec-rule-filings.aspx). All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions.

You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-DTC-2017-804 and should be submitted on or before February 14, 2018.

Start Signature

By the Commission.

Eduardo A. Aleman

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1) and 17 CFR 240.19b-4(n)(1)(i), respectively.

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2.  On December 18, 2017, DTC filed the Advance Notice as a proposed rule change (SR-DTC-2017-022) with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, 17 CFR 240.19b-4. A copy of the proposed rule change is available at http://www.dtcc.com/​legal/​sec-rule-filings.aspx.

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4.  Each capitalized term not otherwise defined herein has its respective meaning as set forth in the Rules, available at http://www.dtcc.com/​legal/​rules-and-procedures.aspx.

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5.  On December 18, 2017, NSCC and FICC submitted proposed rule changes and advance notices to enhance their rules regarding allocation of losses. See SR-NSCC-2017-018, SR-FICC-2017-022 and SR-NSCC-2017-806, SR-FICC-2017-806, which were filed with the Commission and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, respectively, available at http://www.dtcc.com/​legal/​sec-rule-filings.aspx.

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6.  DTC's primary objective is to complete settlement on each Business Day in reliance on liquidity resources comprised of, primarily, the Participants Fund and a committed secured line of credit from a syndicate of lenders. Settlement obligations of each Participant are limited by the amount of these liquidity resources through its Net Debit Cap and fully secured by Collateral of the Participant measured by its Collateral Monitor. These risk management controls are designed so that DTC may complete settlement notwithstanding the failure to settle of a Participant or Affiliated Family of Participants with the largest settlement obligation on any Business Day. The proposed rule change clarifies the use of the Participants Fund in this respect. The Actual Participants Fund Deposits of defaulting Participants would be applied to satisfy their settlement obligations and, should those be insufficient, the balance of the Participants Fund is also available as a liquidity resource. Collateral of defaulting Participants may be pledged to secure a borrowing under the committed line of credit.

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7.  It may be noted that absent extreme circumstances, DTC believes that it is unlikely that DTC would need to act under proposed Sections 4 or 5 of Rule 4.

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8.  See Rule 4, Section 5, supra note 4.

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9.  It may be noted that for NSCC and FICC, the proposed rule changes for loss allocation include a “look-back” period to calculate a member's pro rata share and cap. The concept of a look-back or average is already built into DTC's calculation of Participants Fund requirements, which are based on a rolling sixty (60) day average of a Participant's six highest intraday net debit peaks.

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10.  Each Participant is required to invest in DTC Series A Preferred Stock, ratably on a basis calculated in substantially the same manner as the Required Participants Fund Deposit. The Preferred Stock constitutes capital of DTC and is also available for use as provided in current and proposed Section 3 of Rule 4. This proposed rule change does not alter the Required Preferred Stock Investment.

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11.  Supra note 6.

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12.  As part of its liquidity risk management regime, DTC maintains a 364-day committed revolving line of credit with a syndicate of commercial lenders, renewed every year. The committed aggregate amount of the End-of-Day Credit Facility (currently $1.9 billion) together with the Participants Fund constitute DTC's liquidity resources for settlement. Based on these amounts, DTC sets Net Debit Caps that limit settlement obligations.

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13.  Section 2 of Rule 9(A) provides, in part, “At the request of the Corporation, a Participant or Pledgee shall immediately furnish the Corporation with such assurances as the Corporation shall require of the financial ability of the Participant or Pledgee to fulfill its commitments and shall conform to any conditions which the Corporation deems necessary for the protection of the Corporation, other Participants or Pledgees, including deposits to the Participants Fund . . .” Pursuant to the proposed rule change, the additional amount that a Participant is required to Deposit to the Participants Fund pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 9(A) would be defined as an “Additional Participants Fund Deposit.” This is not a new concept, only the addition of a defined term for greater clarity. In the proposed rule change, this amount continues to be included or excluded as provided in current Rule 4, as noted below.

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14.  Rule 4, Section 4(a)(1), supra note 4. DTC has determined that this option is unnecessary because, in practice, DTC would never have liability under a Clearing Agency Agreement that exceeds the excess assets of the Participant that defaulted.

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15.  DTC believes that this change would provide an objective date that is more appropriate for the application of the Participants Fund to complete settlement, because the “time the loss or liability was discovered” would necessarily have to be the day the Participants Fund was applied to complete settlement.

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16.  DTC believes this shorter period would be sufficient for a Participant to decide whether to give notice to terminate its business with DTC in response to a settlement charge. In addition, a five (5) Business Day pro rata settlement charge notification period would conform to the proposed loss allocation notification period in this proposed rule change and in the proposed rule changes for NSCC and FICC. See infra note 31. See also supra note 5.

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17.  DTC believes that setting the start date of the notification period to an objective date would enhance transparency and provide a common timeframe to all affected Participants.

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18.  Section 8 of current Rule 4 provides for a cap that is equal to the greater of (a) the amount of its Aggregate Required Deposit and Investment, as fixed immediately prior to the time of the first pro rata charge, plus 100% of the amount thereof, or (b) the amount of all prior pro rata charges attributable to the same loss or liability with respect to which the Participant has not timely exercised its right to limit its obligation as provided above. Supra note 4. The alternative limit in clause (b) would be eliminated in proposed Section 8(a) in favor of a single defined standard.

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19.  Proposed Sections 3, 4 and 5 of Rule 4 together relate, in whole or in part, to what may happen when there is a Participant Default. Proposed Section 3 is the basic provision of remedies if a Participant fails to satisfy an obligation to DTC. Proposed Section 4 is a specific remedy for a failure to settle, i.e., a specific type of Participant Default. Proposed Section 5 is also a remedial provision for a Participant Default when, additionally, DTC ceases to act for the Participant and there are remaining losses or liabilities. If a Participant Default occurs, the application of proposed Section 3 would be required, the application of proposed Section 4 would be at the discretion of DTC and the application of proposed Section 5 would only be triggered by the determination of DTC to cease to act for the defaulting Participant coupled with losses or liabilities incurred by DTC. Whether or not proposed Section 4 has been applied, once there is a loss due to a Participant Default and DTC ceases to act for the defaulting Participant, proposed Section 5 would apply.

A principal type of Participant Default is a failure to settle. A Participant's obligation to pay any amount due in settlement is secured by Collateral of the Participant. When the Participant fails to pay its settlement obligation, under Rule 9(B), Section 2, DTC has the right to Pledge or sell such Collateral to satisfy the obligation. Supra note 4. (It is more likely that DTC would borrow against the Collateral to complete settlement on the Business Day, because it is unlikely to be able to liquidate Collateral for same day funds in time to settle on that Business Day.) If DTC Pledges the Collateral to secure a loan to fund settlement (e.g., under the End-of-Day Credit Facility), the Collateral would have to be sold to obtain funds to repay the loan. In any such sale of the Collateral, there is a risk, heightened in times of market stress, that the proceeds of the sale would be insufficient to repay the loan. That deficiency would be a liability or loss to which proposed Section 5 of Rule 4 would apply, i.e., a Default Loss Event.

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20.  DTC calculates its General Business Risk Capital Requirement as the amount equal to the greatest of (i) an amount determined based on its general business profile, (ii) an amount determined based on the time estimated to execute a recovery or orderly wind-down of DTC's critical operations, and (iii) an amount determined based on an analysis of DTC's estimated operating expenses for a six (6) month period.

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21.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81105 (July 7, 2017), 82 FR 32399 (July 13, 2017) (SR-DTC-2017-003).

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22.  17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(15).

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23.  The proposed rule change would not require a Corporate Contribution with respect to a pro rata settlement charge. However, as discussed above, if, after a Participant Default, the proceeds of the sale of the Collateral of the Participant are insufficient to replenish the Participants Fund and/or repay the lenders under the End-of-Day Credit Facility, and DTC has ceased to act for the Participant, the shortfall would be a loss arising from a Default Loss Event, subject to the Corporate Contribution.

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24.  DTC believes that two hundred fifty (250) Business Days would be a reasonable estimate of the time frame that DTC would require to replenish the Corporate Contribution by equity in accordance with DTC's Clearing Agency Policy on Capital Requirements, including a conservative additional period to account for any potential delays and/or unknown exigencies in times of distress.

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25.  Section 1(f) of Rule 4 defines the term “business” with respect to DTC as “the doing of all things in connection with or relating to the Corporation's performance of the services specified in the first and second paragraphs of Rule 6 or the cessation of such services.” Supra note 4.

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26.  DTC believes that having a ten (10) Business Day Event Period would provide a reasonable period of time to encompass potential sequential Default Loss Events and/or Declared Non-Default Loss Events that are likely to be closely linked to an initial event and/or a severe market dislocation episode, while still providing appropriate certainty for Participants concerning their maximum exposure to allocated losses with respect to such events.

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27.  See supra note 14.

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28.  DTC believes that this change would provide an objective date that is appropriate for the new proposed loss allocation process, which would be designed to allocate aggregate losses relating to an Event Period, rather than one loss at a time.

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29.  DTC believes allowing Participants two (2) Business Days to satisfy their loss allocation obligations would provide Participants sufficient notice to arrange funding, if necessary, while allowing DTC to address losses in a timely manner.

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30.  Section 4 of current Rule 4 provides that if the Participants Fund is applied to a loss or liability, DTC must notify each Participant of the charge and the reasons therefor. Proposed Section 5 would modify this process to (i) require DTC to give prior notice; and (ii) require Participants to pay loss allocation charges, rather than directly charging their Required Participants Fund Deposits. DTC believes that shifting from the two-step methodology of applying the Participants Fund and then requiring Participants to immediately replenish it to requiring direct payment would increase efficiency, while preserving the right to charge the Settlement Account of the Participant in the event the Participant doesn't timely pay. Such a failure to pay would be, self-evidently, a Participant Default, triggering recourse to the Actual Participants Fund Deposit of the Participant under proposed Section 3 of Rule 4. In addition, this change would provide greater stability for DTC in times of stress by allowing DTC to retain the Participants Fund, its critical pre-funded resource, while charging loss allocations.

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31.  Section 8 of current Rule 4 provides that the time period for a Participant to give notice of its election to terminate its business with DTC in respect of a pro rata charge is ten (10) Business Days after receiving notice of a pro rata charge. DTC believes that it is appropriate to shorten such time period from ten (10) Business Days to five (5) Business Days because DTC needs timely notice of which Participants would not be terminating their business with DTC for the purpose of calculating the loss allocation for any subsequent round. DTC believes that five (5) Business Days would provide Participants with sufficient time to decide whether to cap their loss allocation obligations by terminating their business with DTC.

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32.  See supra note 17.

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33.  See supra note 18. The alternative limit in clause (b) would be eliminated in proposed Section 8(b) in favor of a single defined standard.

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34.  i.e., a Participant will only have the opportunity to terminate after the first Loss Allocation Notice in any round, and not after each Loss Allocation Notice in any round.

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35.  Non-default losses may arise from events such as damage to physical assets, a cyber-attack, or custody and investment losses.

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36.  See supra note 25.

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37.  See supra note 14.

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38.  See supra note 15.

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39.  See supra note 16.

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40.  Proposed Section 6 is discussed below.

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41.  See supra note 20.

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42.  See supra note 21.

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43.  17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(15).

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44.  See supra note 24.

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45.  i.e., the Loss Allocation Termination Notification Period for that round.

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46.  See supra note 31.

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47.  See supra note 27.

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48.  Supra note 15.

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49.  Supra note 9.

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50.  See supra note 30.

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51.  See supra note 18.

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52.  See supra note 33.

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53.  This is a ministerial change because this paragraph currently applies to Section 4 of current Rule 4, which includes charges to complete settlement and for loss allocation, as would be provided in proposed Section 4 and proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

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54.  This is a ministerial change because Section 9 currently applies to Section 4 of current Rule 4, which includes charges to complete settlement and for loss allocation, as would be provided in proposed Section 4 and proposed Section 5 of Rule 4.

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55.  On December 18, 2017, DTC submitted a proposed rule change and advance notice to adopt the Recovery & Wind-down Plan of DTC, and amend the Rules in order to adopt Rule 32(A) (Wind-down of the Corporation) and Rule 38 (Market Disruption and Force Majeure). See SR-DTC-2017-021 and SR-DTC-2017-803, which were filed with the Commission and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, respectively, available at http://www.dtcc.com/​legal/​sec-rule-filings.aspx.

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56.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79528 (December 12, 2016), 81 FR 91232 (December 16, 2016) (SR-DTC-2016-007).

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59.  17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(7)(i), (e)(13) and (e)(23)(i).

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60.  Id. at 240.17Ad-22(e)(7)(i).

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61.  Id. at 240.17Ad-22(e)(13).

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62.  Id. at 240.17Ad-22(e)(23)(i).

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67.  Supra note 5 (listing the corresponding proposals by NSCC and FICC).

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69.  This extension extends the time periods under Sections 806(e)(1)(E) and (G) of the Clearing Supervision Act. 12 U.S.C. 5465(e)(1)(E) and (G).

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70.  See supra note 2 (concerning the clearing agency's related proposed rule change).

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[FR Doc. 2018-01691 Filed 1-29-18; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P