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CME Group Drops Challenge to Swap-Data Repository Rules

CME Group Inc., owner of the world’s largest futures market, dropped a legal challenge to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s new rules on trade-data reporting after the agency backed away from the requirements.

CME, in a filing yesterday in federal court in Washington, said it was dismissing the case at least for now that sought to block the agency’s cleared-swaps reporting regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act financial reform legislation. Yesterday, the agency amended one policy and said it’s seeking public comment on how CME proposes to report swap data.

“We hope the CFTC will reconsider in the coming months whether these redundant rules are necessary and appropriate at all or could be improved to address better the reporting of cleared swaps data,” Laurie Bischel, a CME Group spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

CME sued the commission on Nov. 8 seeking a permanent injunction against rules requiring registered derivatives-clearing organizations, such as itself, to provide nonpublic reports of cleared swap transactions to a new swap data repository established under the act.

On Nov. 28, the commission withdrew part of a document governing how trade price and volume information is routed to new databases under the Dodd-Frank Act. The agency also sought comment Nov. 28 on CME’s proposed policy of having data for trades guaranteed by its clearinghouse sent to its own so-called swap-data repository.

‘Sort It Out’

“The commission will hear from the public and sort it out,” Gary Gensler, CFTC chairman, told reporters today. He declined to say if he supports the CME’s proposed policy.

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. faulted the agency yesterday for amending its policies after spending more than a year crafting rules for data reporting.

“The commission’s action late yesterday was an unexplained and an abrupt reversal of course,” the New York-based DTCC, which operates a swap-database, said in a Nov. 29 statement asking the CFTC to change its decision. “This action is inconsistent with the commission’s previous actions, and will cause market participants to question the finality of any commission rule or interpretation.”

The case is Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. v. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 12-cv-01820, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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