Application for an order that a swap execution facility registered with the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission is exempt from the requirement to be recognized as an exchange in Ontario -- requested order granted.
Applicable Legislative Provisions
Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5 as am., s. 147.
IN THE MATTER OF THE SECURITIES ACT, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER S.5, AS AMENDED (THE ACT) AND IN THE MATTER OF TRUEEX LLC
ORDER (Section 147 of the Act)
WHEREAS trueEX LLC (the Applicant) has filed an application (Application) with the Ontario Securities Commission (Commission) pursuant to section 147 of the Act requesting an interim order exempting the Applicant from the requirement to be recognized as an exchange under subsection 21(1) of the Act (Exchange Relief);
AND WHEREAS the Applicant has represented to the Commission that:
1. The Applicant is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware in the United States (U.S.) and is a wholly owned subsidiary of trueEX Group LLC (trueEX Group). trueEX Group is a privately held limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of Delaware in the U.S.;
2. On January 31, 2012, the Applicant filed an application for registration on Form DCM pursuant to Section 5d of the CEA and Part 38 of the Regulations of the CFTC to operate a designated contract market (DCM) in the U.S. The Applicant received approval from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on September 25, 2012 and the DCM began operations on September 13, 2013;
3. On July 15, 2013, the Applicant filed an application for registration on Form SEF pursuant to Section 5h of the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act (the CEA) and Part 37 of the Regulations of the CFTC to operate a swap execution facility (SEF) in the U.S. The Applicant was granted temporary registration as a SEF by the CFTC on September 20, 2013, and the SEF began operations on October 2, 2013;
4. The Applicant is regulated by the CFTC as both a DCM and a SEF. The Applicant uses its DCM license and its SEF license to offer a marketplace (the Facility) for trading swaps. Under the Applicant's DCM license, customers can access firm and actionable quotes through the anonymous and transparent Central Limit Order Book (CLOB); and customers that need to execute and report trades of large notional, with a specific counterparty, can take advantage of the Block Trade functionality. Under the Applicant's SEF license, customers are able to use a variety of services to manage their swap portfolios, including: Request for Quote (RFQ), which allows customers to request quotes on a swap from select counterparties through the RFQ functionality; the Cleared Portfolio Terminations and Compactions (PTC) tool allows customers to unwind and remove unwanted open positions from the trade register of the relevant clearing house without the need to undertake a novation; the Backloading tool allows customers to clear previously executed bilateral trades through a clearing route of the customer's choice (with approval of the bilateral counterparty); the Bilateral Termination and Compaction tools gives customers the ability to bilaterally terminate or compact positions, where both original counterparties agree to terminate the original package of trades, and optionally execute one or more new swap positions; the truePorter tool lets customers move their positions from one clearing house and establish them at a different clearing house; and the Allocation tool allows customer clearing firms to perform execution-venue-agnostic post-trade allocation on behalf of their clients that execute trades in bunched order accounts.
5. The Applicant offers trading of interest rate swaps, which are subject to a Made Available to Trade determinations made in accordance with the CFTC's regulations. Swaps that require clearing are cleared at either CME Group, Inc., or LCH Clearnet Limited. Currently, the Applicant does not offer the trading of futures contract (as defined in the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) (CFA)) on the Facility and is not seeking an order exempting the Applicant from the requirement to be recognized as an exchange to trade such contracts;
6. The Applicant requires its participants to qualify as "eligible contract participants," as defined in section 1a(18) of the CEA (ECP). Also, participants must either be a clearing member of one of the clearing houses mentioned in paragraph 5 above or have a relationship with a third party (including registered futures commission merchants) who is a clearing member of one of those clearing houses. Most Facility participants are banks, registered dealers and advisers and other large financial institutions. However, the Applicant offers impartial access to its Facility; for example, a pension fund or hedge fund that meets the ECP definition and has an acceptable clearing arrangement in place could be a member of the Facility;
7. The Applicant is subject to regulatory supervision by the CFTC. The CEA requires a person to register with the CFTC and to comply with applicable CFTC regulations, including the CFTC's SEF Core Principles and DCM Core Principles. SEFs are required to have a rulebook and a compliance program, including a Chief Compliance Officer and a compliance manual. A SEF's participant access criteria must be impartial and transparent and must be applied in a fair and non-discriminatory manner. The CFTC requires each SEF to have certain required trading protocols. A SEF must publish on its website certain daily trading data for each swap contract listed on the SEF and must report all transactions executed on the SEF to a swap data repository. The CFTC reviews, assesses and enforces a SEF's adherence to CFTC regulations on an ongoing basis. In addition to the foregoing, as a DCM the Applicant must also comply with the stricter regulatory regime governing DCMs under CFTC regulation Part 38, set forth in 23 DCM Core Principles;
8. CFTC regulations consider an entity that is registered as a SEF or a DCM to be a self-regulatory organization. Both a SEF and a DCM are obliged under CFTC regulations to have requirements governing the conduct of participants, to monitor compliance with those requirements and to discipline participants, including by means other than exclusion from the marketplace. The Applicant conducts market surveillance of the Facility to comply with CFTC regulations;
9. Fees for the Applicant's services must be equitable and established in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner. The Applicant must submit financial statements to the CFTC quarterly and maintain adequate financial resources to cover its operating costs for a period of at least one year, calculated on a rolling basis, and liquid financial assets equal to at least six months' operating costs;
10. The Applicant proposes to offer direct access to trading on its Facility to prospective participants that are located in Ontario (Ontario Participants) and that satisfy the criteria in paragraph 6 above;
11. The Applicant expects that Ontario Participants will include Canadian financial institutions, registered dealers and advisers, government entities, pension funds and other well capitalized non-regulated entities that satisfy the criteria for an ECP;
12. Because the Applicant will regulate the conduct of its participants, it is considered by the Commission to be an exchange;
13. Since the Applicant seeks to provide Ontario Participants with direct access to trading derivatives, it is considered by the Commission to be "carrying on business as an exchange" in Ontario and is required to be recognized as such or exempted from recognition pursuant to section 21 of the Act;
14. The Applicant has no physical presence in Ontario and does not otherwise carry on business in Ontario except as described herein;
15. The Applicant intends to file a full application to the Commission for a subsequent order exempting it from the requirement to be recognized as an exchange under section 147 of the Act (Subsequent Order).
AND WHEREAS the products traded on the Applicant's Facility are not commodity futures contracts as defined in the CFA and the Applicant is not considered to be carrying on business as a commodity futures exchange in Ontario;
AND WHEREAS the Commission will monitor developments in international and domestic capital markets and the Applicant's activities on an ongoing basis to determine whether it is appropriate for the Exchange Relief to continue to be granted subject to the terms and conditions set out in Schedule "A" to this order;
AND WHEREAS the Applicant has acknowledged to the Commission that the scope of the Order and the terms and conditions imposed by the Commission set out in Schedule "A" to this order may change as a result of the Commission's monitoring of developments in international and domestic capital markets or the Applicant's activities, or as a result of any changes to the laws in Ontario affecting trading in derivatives or securities;
AND WHEREAS based on the representations made by and acknowledgements of the Applicant to the Commission, the Commission has determined that the granting of the Exchange Relief would not be prejudicial to the public interest;
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED by the Commission that, pursuant to section 147 of the Act, the Applicant is exempt on an interim basis from recognition as an exchange under subsection 21(1) of the Act,
1. This Order shall terminate on the earlier of: (i) the effective date of the Subsequent Order and (ii) the 180th day following the date on which the Applicant is granted permanent registration as a SEF by the CFTC;
2. The Applicant complies with the terms and conditions contained in Schedule "A"; and
3. The Applicant shall file a full application to the Commission for the Subsequent Order by July 31, 2015.
DATED May 19th, 2015
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Regulation and Oversight of the Applicant
1. The Applicant will maintain its registration as a swap execution facility (SEF) and as a designated contract market (DCM) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and will continue to be subject to the regulatory oversight of the CFTC.
2. The Applicant will continue to comply with the ongoing requirements applicable to it as a SEF and as a DCM registered with the CFTC.
3. The Applicant will notify the Commission if its registration as a SEF or as a DCM has been revoked, suspended, or amended by the CFTC, or the basis on which its registration as a SEF or as a DCM has been granted has significantly changed.
4. The Applicant must do everything within its control, which includes cooperating with the Commission as needed, to cause the Applicant to carry out its activities as an exchange exempted from recognition under subsection 21(1) of the Act in compliance with Ontario securities law.
5. The Applicant will not provide direct access to a participant in Ontario (Ontario User) unless the Ontario User is appropriately registered as applicable under Ontario securities laws or is exempt from or not subject to those requirements, and qualifies as an "eligible contract participant" under the United States Commodity Exchange Act, as amended (CEA).
6. The Applicant may reasonably rely on a written representation from the Ontario User that specifies either that it is appropriately registered as applicable under Ontario securities laws or is exempt from or not subject to those requirements, provided the Applicant notifies such Ontario User that this representation is deemed to be repeated each time it enters an order, request for quote or response to a request for quote on the Applicant.
7. For each Ontario User provided direct access to its SEF or DCM, the Applicant will require, as part of its application documentation or continued access to the SEF or DCM, the Ontario User to represent that it is appropriately registered as applicable under Ontario securities laws or is exempt from or not subject to those requirements.
8. The Applicant will require Ontario Users to notify the Applicant if their registration as applicable under Ontario securities laws has been revoked, suspended, or amended by the Commission or if they are no longer exempt from or become subject to those requirements and, following notice from the Ontario User and subject to applicable laws, the Applicant will promptly restrict the Ontario User's access to the Applicant if the Ontario User is no longer appropriately registered or exempt from those requirements.
9. The Applicant must make available to Ontario Users appropriate training for each person who has access to trade on the Applicant's facilities.
Trading by Ontario Users
10. The Applicant will not provide access to an Ontario User to trading in products other than swaps and security-based swaps, as defined in section 1a of the CEA, without prior Commission approval. For greater certainty, the Applicant will not provide access to an Ontario User to trading in products that are commodity futures contracts, as defined in the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario), without prior Commission approval.
Submission to Jurisdiction and Agent for Service
11. With respect to a proceeding brought by the Commission arising out of, related to, concerning or in any other manner connected with the Commission's regulation and oversight of the activities of the Applicant in Ontario, the Applicant will submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of (i) the courts and administrative tribunals of Ontario and (ii) an administrative proceeding in Ontario.
12. The Applicant will file with the Commission a valid and binding appointment of an agent for service in Ontario upon whom the Commission may serve a notice, pleading, subpoena, summons or other process in any action, investigation or administrative, criminal, quasi-criminal, penal or other proceeding arising out of or relating to or concerning the Commission's regulation and oversight of the Applicant's activities in Ontario.
13. The Applicant will provide to its Ontario Users disclosure that states that:
(a) rights and remedies against the Applicant may only be governed by the laws of the U.S., rather than the laws of Ontario and may be required to be pursued in the U.S. rather than in Ontario;
(b) the rules applicable to trading on the Applicant may be governed by the laws of the U.S., rather than the laws of Ontario; and
(c) the Applicant is regulated by the CFTC, rather than the Commission.
Filings with the CFTC
14. The Applicant will promptly provide staff of the Commission copies of all material rules of the Applicant, and material amendments to those rules, that it files with the CFTC under the regulations pertaining to self-certification and/or approval.
15. The Applicant will promptly provide staff of the Commission copies of all material amendments to Applicant's Form SEF (including Exhibits to Form SEF) and Form DCM (including Exhibits to Form DCM) that it files with the CFTC.
16. The Applicant will promptly provide to the Commission copies of all material product specifications and material amended product specifications that it files with the CFTC under the regulations pertaining to self-certification and/or approval.
17. The Applicant will promptly provide staff of the Commission the following information to the extent it is required to provide to or file such information with the CFTC:
(a) the annual Board of Directors' report regarding the activities of the board and its committees;
(b) the annual unaudited financial statements of the Applicant;
(c) details of any material legal proceeding instituted against the Applicant;
(d) notification that the Applicant has instituted a petition for a judgment of bankruptcy or insolvency or similar relief, or to wind up or liquidate the Applicant or has a proceeding for any such petition instituted against it; and
(e) the appointment of a receiver or the making of any voluntary arrangement with creditors.
Prompt Notice or Filing
18. The Applicant will notify staff of the Commission as soon as practicable after:
(a) any material change to its business or operations or the information provided in the Applicant's initial application for exemption, including, but not limited to:
(i) changes to the regulatory oversight by the CFTC;
(ii) the corporate governance structure of the Applicant;
(iii) the access model, including eligibility criteria, for Ontario Participants;
(iv) systems and technology; and
(v) the clearing and settlement arrangements for the Applicant;
(b) any change in the Applicant regulations or the laws, rules and regulations in the U.S. relevant to futures and options where such change may materially affect its ability to meet the criteria set out in Appendix 1 to this schedule;
(c) any condition or change in circumstances whereby the Applicant is unable or anticipates it will not be able to continue to meet the SEF Core Principles or the DCM Core Principles, as applicable, established by the CFTC or any other applicable requirements of the CEA or CFTC regulations;
(d) any known investigations of, or disciplinary action against, the Applicant by the CFTC or any other regulatory authority to which it is subject;
(e) any matter known to the Applicant that may affect its financial or operational viability, including, but not limited to, any declaration of emergency pursuant to the Applicant's rules; and
(f) any default, insolvency, or bankruptcy of the Applicant participant known to the Applicant or its representatives that may have a material, adverse impact upon the Applicant, a clearing agency or any Ontario Participant.
19. The Applicant will promptly file with staff of the Commission copies of any Rule Enforcement Review report regarding the Applicant once issued as final by the CFTC.
20. The Applicant will maintain the following updated information and submit such information in a manner and form acceptable to the Commission on a quarterly basis (within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter), and at any time promptly upon the request of staff of the Commission:
(a) a current list of all Ontario Users;
(b) a list of all Ontario Users against whom disciplinary action has been taken in the last quarter by the Applicant or any regulation services provider (RSP), or, to the best of Applicant's knowledge, by the CFTC or SEC with respect to such Ontario Users' activities on the Applicant's SEF or DCM and the aggregate number of disciplinary actions taken against all Users;
(c) a list of all investigations by the Applicant or any RSP relating to Ontario Users and the aggregate number of investigations relating to all Users;
(d) a list of all Ontario applicants for status as a participant who were denied such status or access to the Applicant during the quarter, together with the reasons for each such denial;
(e) a list of all new by-laws, rules, and product specifications; and all amendments to by-laws, rules, product specifications and the Applicant's Form SEF and Form DCM, not already reported under sections 15 to 17 of this Schedule
(f) a list of all products available for trading during the quarter, identifying any additions, deletions, or changes since the prior quarter;
(g) for each product,
(i) the total trading volume and value originating from Ontario Users, presented on a per Ontario User basis, and
(ii) the proportion of worldwide trading volume and value on the Applicant conducted by Ontario Users, presented in the aggregate for such Ontario Users; and
(h) a list outlining each incident of a material systems failure, malfunction or delay that occurred at any time during the quarter for any system relating to trading activity, including trading, routing or data, including systems failures, malfunctions or delays reported under section 19(e) of this Schedule, specifically identifying the date, duration and reason for the failure, malfunction or delay, and noting any corrective action taken.
21. The Applicant will file with the Commission any annual report or annual audited financial statements of the Applicant provided to or filed with the CFTC promptly after filing with the CFTC.
22. The Applicant will file with the Commission any annual "Service Organization Controls 1" report prepared for the Applicant provided to or filed with the CFTC promptly after filing with the CFTC.
23. The Applicant will provide and cause any RSP that it may use to provide such information as may be requested from time to time by, and otherwise cooperate with, the Commission or its staff, subject to any applicable privacy or other laws (including solicitor-client privilege) governing the sharing of information and the protection of personal information.