CFTC and NFA Provide Temporary Relief from Fingerprinting Requirements

April 30, 2020

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regulations require that each natural person principal and each associated person submit fingerprints to the National Futures Association (the “NFA”). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFA temporarily suspended its fingerprinting services and potential principals and associated persons have found it difficult to obtain reliable fingerprinting services from third parties. As a result, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (“DSIO”) issued a no-action letter providing temporary relief to new principals and associated persons from the requirement to submit fingerprints.

The temporary relief is subject to certain conditions, including that the registrant (or applicant for registration) causes a criminal history background check of such principal or associated person to be performed. Additionally, an authorized person of the registrant (or applicant for registration) must sign and submit a certification that the background check was completed and that it did not disclose any matters that constitute a statutory disqualification.

This relief will be in effect until the earlier of July 23, 2020 or the date on which the NFA notifies the public that it has resumed processing fingerprints. Those relying upon this relief must submit fingerprints to the NFA within 30 days of the NFA’s public announcement that it has resumed fingerprint processing.

The NFA has also provided relief from its rules that impose similar fingerprinting requirements, subject to the same conditions imposed by the DSIO no-action letter.

If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please contact any of the partners or counsel listed below or your primary attorney in Seward & Kissel’s Investment Management Group.

Seward & Kissel has established a COVID-19 Resource Center on our web site to access all relevant alerts that we distribute.