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Customer protection initiatives

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Customer protection initiatives

Since 2011, NFA has worked closely with the CFTC and other self-regulatory organizations (SROs) to adopt a number of initiatives to further safeguard customer funds. NFA, in conjunction with CME Group and other SROs, developed and implemented a system in 2013 that requires all depositories holding customer segregated funds on behalf of a futures commission merchant (FCM) to directly report balances daily to SROs. The SROs then perform an automated comparison to the daily reports filed by the FCMs to identify any suspicious discrepancies.

In addition, each FCM now is required to provide regulators with immediate notification if it draws down its excess segregated funds (funds deposited by the firm into customer segregated accounts to guard against customer defaults) by 25 percent in any given day. Such withdrawals must be approved by the CEO, CFO or a financial principal of the firm, and the principal must certify that the firm remains in compliance with segregation requirements.

All FCMs also must regularly file certain basic financial information about the firm with NFA. This information is posted and accessible to the public free of charge on NFA's website. The information includes each FCM's capital requirement, excess capital, segregated funds requirement, excess segregated funds and how the firm invests customer segregated funds. This public display of FCM financial information on NFA's website provides investors with another tool to help them conduct due diligence before choosing an FCM.

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