In general, the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) defines swap dealers and major swap participants as follows:
Swap Dealer (SD)
Section 1a(49) of the CEA defines, in general, an SD as a person (which includes entities) that: holds itself out as a dealer in swaps; makes a market in swaps; regularly enters into swaps with counterparties as an ordinary course of business for its own account; or engages in any activity causing the entity to be commonly known in the trade as a dealer or market maker in swaps. An insured depository institution that enters into a swap with a customer in connection with originating a loan with that customer is not considered to be an SD.
Major Swap Participant (MSP)
Section 1a(33) of the CEA defines, in general, an MSP as a person (which includes entities) that is not an SD and: maintains a substantial position in swaps for any of the major swap categories (with certain hedging and benefit plan exclusions); whose outstanding swaps create substantial counterparty exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial stability of the US banking system or financial markets; or is a financial entity that is highly leveraged relative to the amount of capital it holds and that is not subject to capital requirements established by an appropriate federal banking agency and maintains a substantial position in outstanding swaps in any major category as determined by the CFTC.
The CFTC's final rules further define SD and MSP.
NFA Members can file many of their required documents electronically.