Approved stamp

SEC approves rules and interpretations on key terms for regulating derivatives

The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken another step toward regulating the over-the-counter derivatives market by unanimously approving rules and interpretations for key definitions of certain derivative products.

The SEC rules and interpretations further define the terms “swap” and “security-based swap” and whether a particular instrument is a “swap” regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or a “security-based swap” regulated by the SEC.

The SEC action also addresses “mixed swaps,” which are regulated by both agencies, and “security-based swap agreements,” which are regulated by the CFTC but over which the SEC has antifraud and other authority.

The rules and interpretations written jointly with the CFTC implement provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that establish a comprehensive framework for regulating over-the-counter derivatives.

“Approving the product rules and interpretations is another foundational step in the establishment of a new regulatory regime for derivatives,” says SEC chairman Mary L. Schapiro. “I look forward to action on the rules and interpretations by my colleagues at the CFTC.”

Once both agencies adopt the final rules, they will become effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. The compliance date of such rules for purposes of certain interim exemptions under the federal securities laws will be 180 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. The final rule text and a fact sheet will be available after both agencies adopt the final rules.

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