Securities Law & Instruments

 

Headnote

Application to the Commission pursuant to section 38 of the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) (CFA) for a ruling that the Applicant be exempted from the dealer registration requirement in paragraph 22(1)(a) and the prohibition against trading on non-recognized exchanges in section 33 of the CFA. The Applicant will offer the ability to trade in commodity futures contracts and commodity futures options that trade on exchanges located outside Canada and cleared through clearing corporations located outside of Canada to certain of its clients in Ontario who meet the definition of "permitted client" in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations, subject to terms and conditions.

Applicable Legislative Provisions

Commodity Futures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20, as am., ss. 22, 33, 38.

Securities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.5, as am.

Instrument Cited

National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations, s. 8.18.

May 12, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20, AS AMENDED (the CFA) AND IN THE MATTER OF CREDITEX SECURITIES CORPORATION

RULING (Section 38 of the CFA)

UPON the application (the Application) of Creditex Securities Corporation (the Applicant) to the Ontario Securities Commission (the Commission) for:

(a) a ruling of the Commission, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that the Applicant is not subject to the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures (as defined below) on exchanges located outside Canada (Non-Canadian Exchanges) where the Applicant is acting as principal or agent in such trades to, from or on behalf of Permitted Clients (as defined below) (the Dealer Registration Relief); and

(b) a ruling of the Commission, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that a Permitted Client (as defined below) is not subject to the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges, where the Applicant acts in respect of trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of the Permitted Client pursuant to the above ruling (together with the Dealer Registration Relief, the "Requested Relief");

AND WHEREAS for the purposes of this ruling (the Decision):

(i)

"CFTC" means the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission;

"dealer registration requirements in the CFA" means the provisions of section 22 of the CFA that prohibit a person or company from trading in Exchange-Traded Futures unless the person or company satisfies the applicable provisions of section 22 of the CFA;

"Exchange-Traded Futures" means a commodity futures contract or a commodity futures option that trades on one or more organized exchanges located outside of Canada and that is cleared through one or more clearing corporations located outside of Canada;

"FINRA" means the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the United States;

"NI 31-103" means National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations;

"NFA" means the National Futures Association in the United States;

"OSA" means the Securities Act (Ontario);

"Permitted Client" means a client in Ontario that is a "permitted client" as that term is defined in section 1.1 of NI 31-103;

"SEC" means the United States Securities and Exchange Commission;

"specified affiliate" has the meaning ascribed to that term in Form 33-109F6 to National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information; and

"trading restrictions in the CFA" means the provisions of section 33 of the CFA that prohibit a person or company from trading in Exchange-Traded Futures unless the person or company satisfies the applicable provisions of section 33 of the CFA; and

(ii) terms used in the Decision that are defined in the OSA, and not otherwise defined in the Decision or in the CFA, shall have the same meaning as in the OSA, unless the context otherwise requires;

AND UPON considering the Application and the recommendation of staff of the Commission;

AND UPON the Applicant having represented to the Commission and the Director as follows:

1. The Applicant is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware. Its head office is located in New York, New York with other offices in Connecticut and Texas.

2. The Applicant is a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (ICE). ICE operates leading regulated exchanges, trading platforms and clearing houses serving global markets for agricultural, credit, currency, emissions, energy and equity index markets and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ICE".

3. The Applicant relies on the international dealer exemption in section 8.18 of NI 31-103 in Ontario and therefore is not registered under the OSA.

4. The Applicant previously relied on discretionary relief under the CFA similar to the Dealer Registration Relief, which expired on November 22, 2016.

5. The Applicant is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC, a member of FINRA, a registered introducing broker with the CFTC and a member of the NFA.

6. The Applicant is a member of all major U.S. commodity futures exchanges.

7. The Applicant is not in default of securities or commodity futures legislation in any jurisdiction in Canada or under the CFA. The Applicant is in compliance in all material respects with U.S. securities and commodity futures laws.

8. Pursuant to its registrations and memberships, the Applicant is authorized to handle customer orders and introduce them to a futures commission merchant, and otherwise act as a futures introducing broker in the United States (U.S.). Rules of the CFTC and NFA require the Applicant to maintain adequate capital levels, make and keep specified types of records relating to customer transactions, and comply with other forms of customer protection rules including know-your-customer obligations, as applicable, suitability requirements and anti-money laundering checks. These rules do not permit the Applicant to treat Permitted Clients materially differently from the Applicant's U.S. customers.

9. The Applicant proposes to offer Permitted Clients in Ontario the ability to trade in Exchange-Traded Futures through the Applicant.

10. The Applicant will execute trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of Permitted Clients in Ontario in the same manner that it executes trades on behalf of its U.S. clients. The Applicant will follow the same know-your-customer and order handling procedures that it follows in respect of its U.S. clients. Permitted Clients will be afforded the benefits of compliance by the Applicant with the statutory and other requirements of applicable securities regulators, self-regulatory organizations and exchanges located in the U.S. Permitted Clients in Ontario will generally have the same contractual rights against the Applicant as U.S. clients of the Applicant.

11. The Applicant will not maintain an office, sales force or physical place of business in Ontario.

12. The Applicant will solicit trades in Exchange-Traded Futures in Ontario only from persons who qualify as Permitted Clients.

13. Permitted Clients of the Applicant will be offered the ability to effect trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges.

14. The Exchange-Traded Futures to be traded by Permitted Clients will include, but will not be limited to, Exchange-Traded Futures for equity index, interest rate, energy, agricultural and other commodity products.

15. Permitted Clients of the Applicant will be able to execute Exchange-Traded Futures orders through the Applicant by contacting the Applicant's exchange floor staff or global execution desk. Permitted Clients will also be able to self-execute Exchange-Traded Futures orders electronically via an independent service vendor and/or other electronic trading routing.

16. The Applicant will execute a Permitted Client's order on the relevant Non-Canadian Exchange in accordance with the rules and customary practices of the exchange, or engage another broker to assist in the execution of orders. The Applicant will remain responsible for all executions.

17. The Applicant will perform only the execution function for trades in Exchange-Traded Futures and will direct that a trade executed by the Applicant on behalf of a Permitted Client be delivered and cleared through the Permitted Client's carrying broker or clearing broker on the Non-Canadian Exchange on which the trade is executed.

18. As the Applicant performs only the execution of a Permitted Client's Exchange-Traded Futures order and "gives-up" the transaction for clearance to the Permitted Client's carrying broker or clearing broker, such broker will also be required to comply with the rules of the exchanges of which it is a member and any relevant regulatory requirements, including requirements under the CFA, as applicable. Each such carrying broker or clearing broker will represent to the Applicant, in an industry-standard give-up agreement, that it will perform its obligations in accordance with applicable laws, governmental, regulatory, self-regulatory, exchange and clearing house rules and the customs and usages of the exchange or clearing house on which the relevant Permitted Client's Exchange-Traded Futures order will be executed and cleared. The Permitted Client will execute such give-up agreement. The Applicant will not enter into a give-up agreement with any carrying broker or clearing broker located in the U.S. unless such clearing broker is registered with the CFTC and/or the SEC, as applicable.

19. As is customary for all trades in Exchange-Traded Futures, a clearing corporation appointed by the exchange or clearing division of the exchange is substituted as a universal counterparty on all trades in Exchange-Traded Futures and Permitted Client orders that are submitted to the exchange in the name of the carrying broker or clearing broker on exchanges where the Applicant is not a member. The Permitted Client is responsible to its carrying broker or clearing broker for payment of daily mark-to-market variation margin and/or proper margin to carry open positions and the carrying broker or the clearing broker is in turn responsible to the clearing corporation/division for payment.

20. Permitted Clients will pay commissions for trades to the Applicant for its role as introducing broker and Permitted Clients shall be responsible to pay any commissions to their carrying broker or clearing broker directly, if applicable.

21. The trading restrictions in the CFA apply unless, among other things, an Exchange-Traded Future is traded on a recognized or registered commodity futures exchange and the form of the contract is approved by the Director. To date, no Non-Canadian Exchanges have been recognized or registered under the CFA.

22. If the Applicant were registered under the CFA as a "futures commission merchant", it could rely upon certain exemptions from the trading restrictions in the CFA to effect trades in Exchange-Traded Futures to be entered into on certain Non-Canadian Exchanges.

AND UPON the Commission and the Director being satisfied that it would not be prejudicial to the public interest to grant the exemptions requested;

IT IS RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that the Applicant is not subject to the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures where the Applicant is acting as principal or agent in such trades to, from or on behalf of Permitted Clients provided that:

(a) each client effecting trades in Exchange-Traded Futures is a Permitted Client;

(b) any carrying broker or clearing broker has represented to the Applicant, and the Applicant has taken reasonable steps to verify, that it is appropriately registered under the CFA, or has been granted exemptive relief from the registration requirements in the CFA, in connection with the Permitted Client effecting trades in Exchange-Traded Futures;

(c) the Applicant only executes trades in Exchange-Traded Futures for Permitted Clients on Non-Canadian Exchanges;

(d) at the time trading activity is engaged in, the Applicant:

(i) has its head office or principal place of business in the U.S.;

(ii) is registered as an introducing broker with the CFTC in good standing;

(iii) is a member in good standing with the NFA; and

(iv) engages in the business of an introducing broker in Exchange-Traded Futures in the U.S.;

(e) the Applicant has provided to the Permitted Client the following disclosure in writing:

(i) a statement that the Applicant is not registered in Ontario to trade in Exchange-Traded Futures as principal or agent;

(ii) a statement that the Applicant's head office or principal place of business is located in New York, New York, United States of America;

(iii) a statement that all or substantially all of the Applicant's assets may be situated outside of Canada;

(iv) a statement that there may be difficulty enforcing legal rights against the Applicant because of the above; and

(v) the name and address of the Applicant's agent for service of process in Ontario;

(f) the Applicant has submitted to the Commission a completed Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in the form attached as Appendix "A" hereto;

(g) the Applicant notifies the Commission of any regulatory action initiated after the date of this Decision in respect of the Applicant, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the Applicant, by completing and filing with the Commission Appendix "B" hereto within ten days of the commencement of any such action; provided that the Applicant may satisfy this condition by filing with the Commission (i) a copy of any notice filed by the Applicant pursuant to CFTC Regulation 1.12(k), (l) or (m) at the same time such notice is filed with the CFTC and the NFA, and (ii) on a quarterly basis (A) a copy of the regulatory actions appearing on the Applicant's NFA Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC) page and (B) a copy of any disclosures that would be required to be reported by the Applicant in the Regulatory Disclosures section of the Applicant's Annual Registration Update to the NFA;

(h) if the Applicant does not rely on the international dealer exemption in section 8.18 of NI 31-103 (the IDE), by December 31st of each year, the Applicant pays a participation fee based on its specified Ontario revenues for its previous financial year in compliance with the requirements of Part 3 and section 6.4 of OSC Rule 13-502 Fees as if the Applicant relied on the IDE; and

(i) by December 1st of each year, the Applicant notifies the Commission of its continued reliance on the exemption from the dealer registration requirements in the CFA granted pursuant to this Decision by filing Form 13-502F4 Capital Markets Participation Fee Calculation.

This Decision will terminate on the earliest of:

(i) the expiry of any transition period as may be provided by law, after the effective date of the repeal of the CFA;

(ii) six months, or such other transition period as may be provided by law, after the coming into force of any amendment to Ontario commodity futures law (as defined in the CFA) or Ontario securities law (as defined in the OSA) that affects the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA; and

(iii) five years after the date of this Decision.

AND IT IS FURTHER RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that a Permitted Client is not subject to the dealer registration requirements in the CFA or the trading restrictions in the CFA in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on Non-Canadian Exchanges where the Applicant acts in connection with trades in Exchange-Traded Futures on behalf of the Permitted Clients pursuant to the above ruling.

"William Furlong"
Commissioner
Ontario Securities Commission
 
"Mark J. Sandler"
Commissioner
Ontario Securities Commission

 

APPENDIX "A"

SUBMISSION TO JURISDICTION AND APPOINTMENT OF AGENT FOR SERVICE

INTERNATIONAL DEALER OR INTERNATIONAL ADVISER EXEMPTED FROM REGISTRATION UNDER THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT, ONTARIO

1. Name of person or company ("International Firm"):

2. If the International Firm was previously assigned an NRD number as a registered firm or an unregistered exempt international firm, provide the NRD number of the firm:

3. Jurisdiction of incorporation of the International Firm:

4. Head office address of the International Firm:

5. The name, e-mail address, phone number and fax number of the International Firm's individual(s) responsible for the supervisory procedure of the International Firm, its chief compliance officer, or equivalent.

Name:
E-mail address:
Phone:
Fax:

6. The International Firm is relying on an exemption order under section 38 or section 80 of the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) that is similar to the following exemption in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations (the "Relief Order"):

[ ] Section 8.18 [international dealer]

[ ] Section 8.26 [international adviser]

[ ] Other [specify]:

7. Name of agent for service of process (the "Agent for Service"):

8. Address for service of process on the Agent for Service:

9. The International Firm designates and appoints the Agent for Service at the address stated above as its agent upon whom may be served a notice, pleading, subpoena, summons or other process in any action, investigation or administrative, criminal, quasi-criminal or other proceeding (a "Proceeding") arising out of or relating to or concerning the International Firm's activities in the local jurisdiction and irrevocably waives any right to raise as a defence in any such proceeding any alleged lack of jurisdiction to bring such Proceeding.

10. The International Firm irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative tribunals of the local jurisdiction in any Proceeding arising out of or related to or concerning the International Firm's activities in the local jurisdiction.

11. Until 6 years after the International Firm ceases to rely on the Relief Order, the International Firm must submit to the regulator

a. a new Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in this form no later than the 30th day before the date this Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is terminated;

b. an amended Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service no later than the 30th day before any change in the name or above address of the Agent for Service;

c. a notice detailing a change to any information submitted in this form, other than the name or above address of the Agent for Service, no later than the 30th day after the change.

12. This Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the local jurisdiction.

Dated: _______________

______________________________

(Signature of the International Firm or authorized signatory)

______________________________

(Name of signatory)

______________________________

(Title of signatory)

Acceptance

The undersigned accepts the appointment as Agent for Service of _______________ [Insert name of International Firm] under the terms and conditions of the foregoing Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service.

Dated: _______________

______________________________

(Signature of the Agent for Service or authorized signatory)

______________________________

(Name of signatory)

______________________________

(Title of signatory)

This form, and notice of a change to any information submitted in this form, is to be submitted through the Ontario Securities Commission's Electronic Filing Portal:

https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/filings

 

APPENDIX "B"

NOTICE OF REGULATORY ACTION

1. Has the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates{1} of the firm entered into a settlement agreement with any financial services regulator, securities or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar agreement with any financial services regulator, securities or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar organization?

Yes _____ No _____

If yes, provide the following information for each settlement agreement:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Name of entity

Regulator/organization

Date of settlement (yyyy/mm/dd)

Details of settlement

Jurisdiction

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. Has any financial services regulator, securities or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar organization:

 

 

Yes

No

 

a)

Determined that the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm violated any securities regulations or any rules of a securities or derivatives exchange, SRO or similar organization?

_____

_____

 

(b)

Determined that the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm made a false statement or omission?

_____

_____

 

(c)

Issued a warning or requested an undertaking by the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

_____

_____

 

(d)

Suspended or terminated any registration, licensing or membership of the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

_____

_____

 

(e)

Imposed terms or conditions on any registration or membership of the firm, or predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

_____

_____

 

(f)

Conducted a proceeding or investigation involving the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm?

_____

_____

 

(g)

Issued an order (other than an exemption order) or a sanction to the firm, or any predecessors or specified affiliates of the firm for securities or derivatives-related activity (e.g. cease trade order)?

_____

_____

If yes, provide the following information for each action:

Name of entity

 

Type of action

 

Regulator/organization

 

Date of action (yyyy/mm/dd)

Reason for action

 

Jurisdiction

3. Is the firm aware of any ongoing investigation of which the firm or any of its specified affiliates is the subject?

Yes _____ No _____

If yes, provide the following information for each investigation:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Name of entity

Reason or purpose of investigation

Regulator/organization

Date investigation commenced (yyyy/mm/dd)

Jurisdiction

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Name of firm:

Name of firm's authorized signing officer or partner

Title of firm's authorized signing officer or partner

Signature

Date (yyyy/mm/dd)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Witness

The witness must be a lawyer, notary public or commissioner of oaths.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Name of witness

Title of witness

Signature

Date (yyyy/mm/dd)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This form is to be submitted through the Ontario Securities Commission's Electronic Filing Portal:

https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/filings

{1} In this Appendix, the term "specified affiliate" has the meaning ascribed to that term in Form 33-109F6 to National Instrument 33-109 Registration Information.