Washington, D.C. — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) today announced that, in light of the continuing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, it has extended the time period for the targeted no-action relief provided in CFTC Staff Letter No. 20-16 to registrants listing new principals and to applicants for registration as associated persons (APs) from the requirement to submit a fingerprint card for any such principal or AP registration applicant.
“An important part of ensuring that our markets remain orderly and liquid is enabling our registered firms to bring sufficient personnel online to interact with their customers,” said DSIO Director Joshua B. Sterling. “This extension of the temporary relief currently in place will have the targeted effect of continuing to mitigate the difficulties associated with fingerprinting in a remote working environment and thereby allow firms to staff up as they deem appropriate.”
Subject to the conditions stated in the staff letter, until September 30, 2020, or until such earlier date as the National Futures Association (NFA) notifies the public that it has resumed the processing of fingerprints, a fingerprint card for a newly-listed principal or an applicant for AP registration need not be submitted; provided that:
- The registrant or applicant for registration listing such principal, or sponsoring such applicant for AP registration, causes a criminal history background check of such principal or applicant for AP registration to be performed;
- The criminal history background check is of a type that would reveal matters constituting statutory disqualification from registration, and it does not reveal any such matters, other than those disclosed in the person’s Form 8-R;
- A person with authority to bind the registrant or applicant for registration listing such principal, or sponsoring such applicant for AP registration, signs and submits a certification that the background check was completed and that it did not disclose any matters that constitute a statutory disqualification; and
- The registrant or applicant for registration listing such principal, or sponsoring such applicant for AP registration, maintains records documenting the completion and the results of the criminal history background check in accordance with Regulation 1.31.
Principals and APs of registrants and applicants for registration relying upon the relief provided in the staff letter will still be required to submit their fingerprints to NFA within 30 days of NFA’s public announcement of its resumption of fingerprint processing.