Notices to Members

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Notice I-23-06

February 6, 2023

Educational resources, common deficiencies and other important regulatory information for FCM, FDM and IB 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:

Futures Commission Merchants (FCM)

Forex Dealer Members (FDM)

Introducing Brokers (IB)

Regulatory Obligations Related to Common Deficiencies

The following section describes several regulatory obligations related to common deficiencies noted during NFA examinations of Member FCMs for which NFA is the DSRO, FDMs and IBs.

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 need to be revised or strengthened. A common deficiency in this area includes failing to review the questionnaire on an annual basis. NFA encounters firms with deficient policies and procedures, indicating an inadequate review of the self-examination questionnaire. Thorough questionnaire completion and review ensures firms are alerted to deficient policies and procedures that should be updated to comply with NFA rules.

Supervision: FCM, FDMs and IBs Members must have written supervisory policies and procedures to address the manner, frequency and results of monitoring written and oral communications. Such supervision includes, when required1, maintaining a record of all oral and written communications provided or received concerning quotes, solicitations, bids, offers, instructions, trading and prices that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and related cash or forward transaction, whether communicated by telephone, voicemail, facsimile, instant messaging, chat rooms, electronic mail, mobile device or other digital or electronic media. Common deficiencies in this area include firms not maintaining all required communications, failing to identify brokers using unapproved and unrecorded communication methods and permitting unregistered individuals to act as associated persons.

Digital Assets: Members engaging in activities related to digital assets or digital asset derivatives must comply with the customer disclosure requirements established in NFA's Interpretive Notice 9073.

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. The supervisory framework must address activities the firm will undertake with respect to initial risk assessment, onboarding due diligence, ongoing monitoring, termination and recordkeeping. Appendix E of the Self-Examination Questionnaire includes several questions to help Members understand these requirements. Firms must also maintain records demonstrating that they have addressed the items outlined in the Interpretive Notice and are following their procedures.

Cybersecurity: FCM, FDM and IB 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.

Financial Reporting: FCM, FDM and IB Members must periodically file financial reports. Each financial report filed late will be subject to a fee of $1,000 for each business day it is late. Firms that fail to file financial reports in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action.

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 doing business or begins soliciting for digital asset or micro contract products, the Member must immediately update its Annual Questionnaire. Doing so ensures that NFA's BASIC system displays correct information about the firm's business activities and ensures the firm receives all applicable notices relating to its reporting requirements in a timely manner.

Recent Amendments and Reminders

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

I-22-20: Reminder: NFA Member cybersecurity responsibilities

I-22-17: Forex Dealer Members: Effective date for amendment to NFA Compliance Rule 2-43

I-22-09: FinCEN issues alert on potential Russian sanctions evasion efforts and reminds financial institutions of SAR and other reporting obligations

I-22-08: NFA encourages Members to monitor U.S. sanctions on Russia and be vigilant of cybersecurity threats

I-22-05: Extension of relief from the on-site annual inspection of branch offices and guaranteed IBs

I-22-01: Member obligations under NFA Bylaw 1101 and Compliance Rule 2-36(d) with respect to CPOs/CTAs exempt from registration

Contact NFA

If you need assistance with any NFA requirements, please contact NFA's Information Center (312-781-1410 or 800-621-3570 or

1An IB that has generated over the preceding three years more than $5 million in aggregate gross revenues from its activities as an IB is required to maintain certain oral and written communications.

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