August 25, 2011 / 4:26 PM / 8 years ago

CFTC plans Sept vote on Dodd-Frank compliance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. futures regulator expects to vote next month on a pair of proposals that would outline when the market would have to comply with new steps designed to bring more oversight to the multi-trillion-dollar swaps market, the chairman of the agency said on Thursday.

Gary Gensler, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said the proposals would allow the public to comment on a timetable for when the industry must comply with new Dodd-Frank rules for swap clearing and trading, internal business documentation and margin rules for uncleared swaps.

“These proposed rules are designed to smooth the transition from an unregulated market structure to a safer market structure,” Gensler said.

“It’s critically important for market participants to take the time now to plan for this new oversight of the industry,” he said.

Gensler said starting in September, the agency expects to finish rules for position limits, clearinghouse core principles followed by business conduct and entity definitions, trading, data reporting and the end-user exemption.

Officials at the CFTC have told Reuters the long-awaited position-limits plan was slated for a vote on September 22.

Running behind schedule, the CFTC has completed 11 of the estimated 50 regulations it is required to finalize under last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform law that gave it oversight of the $600 trillion global swaps market.

Scott O’Malia and Jill Sommers, the two Republican commissioners at the CFTC, have said the agency is moving too fast, and needs first to outline the timing of when the rules will be finalized and then implemented.

“We are rushing ahead and trying to get a bunch of rules done and here we haven’t checked all the boxes especially on the cost-benefit analysis,” O’Malia told Reuters this week.

Gensler has countered the CFTC has used a measured approach in finalizing the rules. “We’re not trying to do this against a clock,” he told reporters, adding the agency takes into account public comments and reviews the cost and benefits of its rules.

He also said on Thursday after the rules are finalized and have been in effect for a while, the CFTC must “carefully evaluate the new regulatory landscape as a whole” and see how it is working.

The remarks were made at the beginning of a two-day conference on the commodity markets held by the CFTC that included presentations by dozens of academics on commodity index trading, market sentiment, hedging and arbitrage.

Editing by Dale Hudson

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