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News Briefs

NFA announces new dates for Member workshops

The NFA Member workshops, originally planned for the 4th quarter of 2001, have been rescheduled. The new dates are February 7, 2002, in New York at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers; and February 12, 2002, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago. The workshops are offered free of charge and will run from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. NFA Members can get more information and register online at NFA's web site (www.nfa.futures.org).

This comprehensive half-day workshop — developed for NFA Members whose primary business focus has been in the futures markets but who are now looking to offer security futures products to their customers — will cover the new rules and regulations related to these new products. During the workshop, NFA staff from the Compliance and Legal Departments will walk Members through the steps needed to offer these products to customers-opening customer accounts, preparing promotional material, addressing insider trading rules and other important rule changes will be covered.

NFA changed the dates to ensure that the SEC and CFTC have finalized all security futures rules concerning best execution, disclosure and proficiency for retail trading of security futures products.

NFA holds Board elections

At its August meeting, NFA's Board of Directors voted to reduce the size of the Board from 45 Directors to 25 Directors. In November, NFA notified its Members of the nominations made by the 2001 Nominating Committee for positions on NFA's Board of Directors and 2002 Nominating Committee. Ballots were sent to all Member FCMs and IBs in mid-December, to be returned no later than January 15.

Look for the results of the election to be posted on NFA's web site shortly after January 15.

NFA takes disciplinary actions against California Forex firm and Chicago futures firm

On November 5, 2001, NFA suspended Midland Euro Inc. (Midland), a California firm, for allegedly keeping two sets of financial records. Midland is a registered futures commission merchant dealing primarily in retail Forex transactions. NFA deemed the action necessary to protect customers based on Midland's alleged failure to disclose the existence of two customer accounts, which comprised a substantial portion of Midland's business, and one of its bank accounts. In addition, NFA alleged that Midland filed false financial reports with NFA that failed to reflect the liabilities related to the undisclosed accounts. At Midland's request, a hearing was held on the MRA and, on November 14, 2001, a Hearing Panel issued a Decision which affirmed the MRA in all respects.

NFA also took a disciplinary action on December 6, 2001, against Professional Market Brokerage, Inc. (PMB), a futures commission merchant located in Chicago, for failing to meet minimum capital requirements. Under the terms of the action, PMB is prohibited from soliciting or accepting any additional customer accounts or customer funds. PMB is also prohibited from accepting or placing trades for accounts except for liquidation of existing positions and from distributing, disbursing or transferring any funds without the prior approval of NFA.

The enforcement action will remain in effect until PMB has demonstrated to NFA's satisfaction that it is in complete compliance with all NFA requirements.

NFA is the premier independent provider of efficient and innovative regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets.
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