MFA and AIMA Submit Letter to CFTC Staff Seeking Repeal of Interpretation 10-1 for Futures

MFA and AIMA submitted a letter to the Division of Clearing and Risk and the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) requesting that those Divisions repeal “Amendment of Interpretation to the Financial and Segregation Interpretation No. 10 on the Treatment of Funds Deposited in Safekeeping Accounts” for futures and options transactions.  Also known as CFTC Staff Interpretation 10-1, this interpretation prohibits futures commissioner merchants (FCMs) from using tri-party custodial accounts to hold customer collateral.  In the letter, MFA and AIMA expressed that members were concerned by the recent MF Global and Peregrine insolvencies and the related misuse and misappropriation of customer assets.  MFA and AIMA explained why permitting tri-party custodial accounts is an important step to prevent such events from recurring.  In addition, MFA and AIMA explained the typical control arrangements related to third-party custodial accounts used in the over-the-counter derivatives market in response to the CFTC’s concern about FCMs having immediate and unfettered access to customer collateral.