CFTC hosting two-day public roundtable on customer protections

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012 - The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will hold a two-day public roundtable to discuss customer collateral protection and “gather public input on a variety of ideas to further protect customers.”

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Roundtable discussions are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 29 and Thursday, March 1. They will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's Headquarters at 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC.

Discussions will “look at the critical issues surrounding further enhancements to customer protection,” said CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler. 

“Segregation of customer funds is a core foundation of customer protection in both the futures and swaps markets,” he added.

CFTC reports that Wednesday's discussions will focus on several issues, including enhancing futures commission merchant (FCM) controls over customer funds deposited for trading on U.S. futures markets; increasing transparency surrounding an FCM's holding and investment of customer funds; and lessons learned from commodity brokerage bankruptcy proceedings.

Day two of the two-day session will focus primarily on the protection of customer funds deposited with FCMs for trading on foreign futures markets.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said the roundtables pre-judge the MF Global investigation and have limited participation by farmers and ranchers, many of whom are still missing their own funds in the wake of the collapse of MF Global.

“Certainly the resources of the CFTC can be better spent elsewhere, like first working to return money to the thousands of innocent victims whose funds are still missing,” he said. 

Roberts said he appreciated CFTC efforts to discuss solutions to the problem of missing customer funds following the collapse of MF Global, but that the public roundtables are premature. 

“The CFTC's own investigation has not concluded,” he said. “This roundtable sets up a situation where changes to a decades old system could be proposed before the CFTC knows what really went wrong.”


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