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Regulators Clarify Key Swap-Related Dodd-Frank Definitions

30 April 2012
In a long-awaited decision, federal commodity and securities regulators approved final rules providing definitions for several key terms under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  In particular, the CFTC voted 4-1 and the SEC voted unanimously to adopt rules defining “swap dealer,” “security-based swap dealer,” “major swap participant,” “major security-based swap participant,” and “eligible contract participant” as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act.  Of particular note is a de minimis exception from the swap dealer definition for participants who otherwise meet the requirement but whose swaps positions have a notional value of $8 billion or less.  Following a 3 year phase-in period, the threshold for the de minimis exception will drop to $3 billion. The CFTC also voted 5-0 to adopt an interim final rule excluding from the definition of “swap dealer” those swaps entered into to hedge a physical position.   
Regulators Clarify Key Swap-Related Dodd-Frank Definitions

Any registration required as a result of satisfying the definitions will not be required until other rules are finalized, including the rules defining “swap” and “security-based swap.”  For more on this critical development affecting the commodity and energy market participants, please see Hogan Lovell's Energy Alert on the topic. 


Mustafa Ostrander

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