The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has implications for derivatives contracts. For example, some companies are asserting that the reported disruptions in the global supply chain and travel restrictions constitute a force majeure, which is a legal basis for excusing non-performance and a right to terminate under contracts. This article examines certain issues that market participants may wish to consider when evaluating the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on their outstanding derivatives contracts.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently issued three no-action letters providing relief for swap transactions (and amendments to swap transactions) in connection with the expected market transition from using the London Interbank Offered Rate and other interbank offered rates. The approach is consistent with an increasing focus at the CFTC and other regulators on facilitating an orderly transition to alternative rates.
As a further step towards the implementation of its security-based swap regime, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted a number of long-awaited capital, margin and segregation requirements for security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants. The SEC's final rules address one of the key remaining questions required to implement the security-based swap regime: which capital and margin requirements will apply to non-bank dealers?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continues to take steps towards the implementation of its security-based swap (SBS) dealer registration framework. In a recent proposal, the SEC has sought to address certain questions as to the cross-border implementation of its SBS regime and, in some cases, to further harmonise its regulations with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's swaps regulatory framework.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has proposed a series of changes to its general regulations governing derivatives clearing organisations (DCOs). While the proposed amendments intend to (among other things) enhance certain risk management and reporting obligations, many of them would require significant changes to current practice and impose new obligations on DCOs and their clearing members.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has proposed the first instalment of a series of amendments to its rules relating to swap data repositories and the reporting of swap data. The proposed amendments, which would affect Parts 23, 43, 45 and 49 of the CFTC's regulations, implement the CFTC's Roadmap to Achieve High Quality Swaps Data and are intended to improve the quality and accuracy of data available to the CFTC and the public and to streamline data reporting.