Notices to Members

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Notice I-22-03

January 13, 2022

Educational resources, common deficiencies and other important regulatory information for CPO and CTA Members

NFA is committed to providing its Members with the resources they need to meet their regulatory obligations as efficiently as possible. This Notice covers educational resources, common deficiencies and links to Notices to Members regarding recent amendments to NFA Rules and Interpretive Notices.

Members Section of NFA's Website

From the Members section of NFA's website, Members can access information detailing their regulatory obligations including the following:

Commodity Pool Operators (CPO)

Commodity Trading Advisors (CTA)

Regulatory Obligations Related to Common Deficiencies

The following section describes a number of regulatory obligations related to common deficiencies noted during NFA examinations of CPO and CTA Members.

Self-Examination Questionnaire

NFA Members must annually review their operations using NFA's Self-Examination Questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed to aid Members in recognizing potential problem areas and to alert them to procedures that must be revised or strengthened.

Third-Party Service Providers

Members that outsource regulatory functions must adopt and implement a written supervisory framework over outsourced functions to mitigate outsourcing-related risks pursuant to Interpretive Notice 9079. Firms must maintain records demonstrating that they have addressed the items outlined in the Interpretive Notice and are following their procedures.

Cybersecurity

CPO and CTA Members must adopt a written information systems security program (ISSP) pursuant to Interpretive Notice 9070 to address the risk of unauthorized access to or attack of their information technology systems and to respond appropriately should unauthorized attacks occur. Members are also required to notify NFA of certain cybersecurity incidents related to their commodity interest activities via NFA's Cyber Notice Filing System. One common deficiency in this area is failure to provide cybersecurity training to employees upon hiring and annually thereafter.

Members that fail to establish and implement an ISSP may be subject to disciplinary action.

Pool Financial Reporting—Notification Requirements

Notice Filing Requirements: CPOs are required to file notice with NFA when a market or other event affects a commodity pool's ability to fulfill its participant obligations. Notice must be filed by 5:00 p.m. CT the next business day following one of the events outlined in Compliance Rule 2-50 and Interpretive Notice 9080.

Changes in Fiscal Year End: If a CPO elects a fiscal year end other than the calendar year end for a pool, it must give written notice of the election to all participants and file notice with NFA via EasyFile pursuant to CFTC Regulation 4.22(g) within 90 calendar days after the pool's formation. If this notice is not given, the CPO will be deemed to have elected the calendar year end as the pool's fiscal year end. The CPO must continue to use the elected fiscal year end for the pool unless it provides written notice of any proposed change to all participants and files such notice with NFA via EasyFile at least 90 days before the change.

Changes in Certified Public Accountant (CPA): In the event that a CPO changes the independent CPA engaged to audit a pool's financial statements, the CPO must file notice with NFA via EasyFile pursuant to CFTC Regulation 1.16(g) no more than 15 days after the CPA's resignation or dismissal by the CPO.

Extension Requests: If a CPO requests an extension to file an annual pool financial statement, the extension must be filed with NFA via EasyFile prior to the due date of the filing.

Cessation of Trading: When a pool ceases trading, the CPO must promptly update the Annual Questionnaire. With few exceptions, a CPO must also distribute to participants a final Annual Report and file the Annual Report with NFA. This Annual Report is due within 90 days after the pool ceases trading, absent an extension.

Calculation of Financial Ratios

CPO and CTA Members must compute financial ratios using the accrual method of accounting and in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles or another internationally recognized accounting standard as outlined in Interpretive Notice 9071. Members should consult Notice I-18-20 for additional guidance on calculating these ratios.

Ongoing Updates

On an ongoing basis, each NFA Member must update its Annual Questionnaire in the event of a material change to its operations. For example, if a Member begins soliciting for virtual currency or micro contract products or begins doing business, the Member must immediately update its Annual Questionnaire. Keeping the Annual Questionnaire up-to-date ensures firms receive all applicable notices relating to their reporting requirements in a timely manner and ensures that BASIC displays accurate information about firms' business activities when applicable.

Recent Amendments and Reminders

The following links contain Notices to Members regarding reminders and recent amendments to NFA Rules and Interpretive Notices.

I-21-44: Effective date for amendment to exclude certain associated persons from the Branch Office Manager Examination requirement

I-21-42: Action required: NFA adds virtual currency and micro contract-related questions to Annual Questionnaire

I-21-28: Effective date for amendments to NFA's Interpretive Notice regarding branch office registration requirements

I-21-21: Amendments to NFA Compliance Rule 2-46 conforming CPO filing requirements to CFTC Regulation 4.27 now effective

I-21-20: Reminder: Effective date for NFA rules establishing CPO notice filing requirements

I-21-18: Reminder: Disclosure and Reporting Requirements for NFA Members engaging in virtual currency activities

I-21-13: Effective date for Interpretive Notice regarding Members' use of third-party service providers

Contact NFA

If you need assistance with any NFA requirements, please contact NFA's Information Center (312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570 or information@nfa.futures.org).

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