J.P. Morgan Securities PLC – s. 38 of the CFA
Application for a ruling pursuant to section 38 of the Commodity Futures Act (CFA) granting relief from the dealer registration requirement set out in section 22 of the CFA in connection with acting as a clearing broker in Give-Up Transactions involving commodity futures contracts and options on commodity futures contracts on exchanges located in Canada (Canadian Futures) to, from or on behalf of Canadian institutional permitted clients (institutional investors) -- relief limited to trades in Canadian futures for institutional permitted clients -- relief subject to sunset clause.
Commodity Futures Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.20, as am., ss. 22, 38.
National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions, and Ongoing Registrant Obligations, ss. 1.1, 8.18.
Ontario Instrument 32-507 (Commodity Futures Act) Exemptions for International Dealers, Advisers and Sub-Advisers (Interim Class Order).
September 1, 2022
IN THE MATTER OF THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT, R.S.O. 1990, c. C. 20, AS AMENDED (the CFA) AND IN THE MATTER OF J.P. MORGAN SECURITIES PLC (the Filer)
RULING (Section 38 of the CFA)
WHEREAS on July 21, 2017, the Ontario Securities Commission (the Commission) made a ruling (the Previous Decision) pursuant to section 38 of the CFA exempting
(a) the Filer from the dealer registration requirement set out in section 22 of the CFA in connection with providing Clearing Broker Services (as defined below) in Give-Up Transactions (as defined below) involving exchange-traded futures on exchanges located in Canada (Canadian Futures) to, from or on behalf of Institutional Permitted Clients (as defined below); and
(b) an Institutional Permitted Client from the dealer registration requirement in the CFA in connection with receiving Clearing Broker Services (as defined below) in Give-Up Transactions (as defined below) in Canadian Futures from the Filer;
AND WHEREAS the Previous Decision was effective for a five-year period and terminated on July 21, 2022 (the Termination Date);
AND WHEREAS prior to the Termination Date, the Commission received an application from the Filer (the Application) pursuant to section 38 of the CFA for a ruling to extend the Termination Date for a five-year period and to make certain revisions to update the Filer's representations to the Commission (the Ruling);
AND WHEREAS for the purposes of the Ruling, "Institutional Permitted Client" shall mean a "permitted client" as defined in section 1.1 of National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions, and Ongoing Registrant Obligations (NI 31-103), except for:
(a) an individual,
(b) a person or company acting on behalf of a managed account of an individual,
(c) a person or company referred to in paragraph (p) of that definition, unless the person or company qualifies as a permitted client under another paragraph of that definition, or
(d) a person or company referred to in paragraph (q) of that definition unless that person or company has net assets of at least $100 million as shown on its most recently prepared financial statements or qualifies as a permitted client under another paragraph of that definition;
and provided further that, for the purposes of the definition of "Institutional Permitted Client", a reference in the definition of "permitted client" in section 1.1 of NI 31-103 to "securities legislation" shall be read as "securities legislation or Ontario commodity futures law, as applicable";
AND UPON considering the Application and the recommendation of Staff of the Commission;
AND UPON the Filer having represented to the Commission as follows:
1. The Filer is a public limited company registered in England and Wales having its registered office at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5JP, United Kingdom (U.K.). The Filer is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a U.S. national banking association, and an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
2. The Filer is authorized by the Prudential Regulation Authority in the U.K. (PRA) under the U.K. Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (as amended, including those amendments introduced by the Financial Services Act 2012) (the FSMA) to carry on a range of regulated activities within the U.K. and is subject to "dual regulation" by the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. (FCA) and the PRA. The Filer is currently licensed in the U.K. to deal with eligible counterparties, professional clients and retail clients with respect to its permitted activities. The Filer is currently authorized to carry on certain regulated activities in the U.K. in relation to certain specified investments, including the following: (a) arranging (bringing about) deals in futures; (b) dealing in futures as agent; (c) dealing in futures as principal; (d) making arrangements with a view to transactions in futures; (e) managing futures, (f) safeguarding and administration of assets in relation to futures (without arranging); and (g) arranging safeguarding and administration of assets in relation to futures. As is the case with all firms authorized in the U.K., the Filer's current U.K. regulatory status remains subject to variation and the possible imposition of regulatory limitations or requirements and is described as at the date of the Application.
3. The Filer is an Exempt Foreign Broker under U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rules (17 CFR 30) and is able to conduct brokerage activities for U.S. customers on non-U.S. exchanges without having to register with the CFTC as a futures commission merchant (FCM). As a result, the Filer is a member of the National Futures Association in the U.S. (NFA) and is approved by the NFA as an exempt foreign firm under CFTC Regulation 30.10 under the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).
4. The Filer is a member of major international securities and commodity futures exchanges and clearing houses, including but not limited to the London Stock Exchange, the London Metal Exchange, ICE Futures Europe, LCH Ltd. and ICE Clear Europe.
5. In connection with its securities trading activities, the Filer relies on the "international dealer exemption" under section 8.18 of NI 31-103 (IDE) in the ten Canadian provinces.
6. Subject to the Ruling requested (due to the recent expiry of the Previous Decision), the Filer is not in default of securities or commodity futures legislation in any jurisdiction of Canada. The Filer is in compliance in all material respects with U.K. securities laws and commodity futures laws.
7. J.P. Morgan Securities Canada Inc. (JPMSCI) is an affiliate of the Filer. JPMSCI is registered as an investment dealer in each of the provinces and territories of Canada, as a futures commission merchant in Ontario, as a derivatives dealer in Quebec, and is a dealer member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
8. The Filer has been providing Clearing Broker Services (as defined below) in Give-Up Transactions (as defined below) involving Canadian Futures to, from, or on behalf of Institutional Permitted Clients in reliance on the Previous Decision since July 21, 2017. The Filer wishes to continue providing these services pursuant to the Ruling.
9. A Give-Up Transaction is a purchase or sale of futures contracts by a client that has an existing relationship with a clearing broker, but wishes to use the trade execution services of one or more other executing brokers for the purpose of executing such purchases or sales (Subject Transactions) on one or more markets. Under these circumstances, the executing broker executes the Subject Transactions as directed by the client and "gives up" such trades to the clearing broker for clearing, settlement, record-keeping, bookkeeping, custody and other administrative functions (Clearing Broker Services). The service provided by the executing broker is limited to trade execution only.
10. In a Give-Up Transaction, the clearing broker will maintain an account for the client that is administered in accordance with the terms and conditions of the account documentation of the clearing broker that has been signed by the client. The clearing broker will handle record-keeping and collateral for the client. The client will not sign clearing account documentation with the executing broker, nor will the executing broker typically receive monies, margin or collateral directly from the client. Although the executing broker is responsible for its own record-keeping, bookkeeping, custody and other administrative functions (Account Services) in respect of its own clients, it does not, subject to any applicable regulatory requirements that may otherwise apply, provide Account Services for execution-only clients. Such Account Services remain the responsibility of the clearing broker. The clearing broker will have the primary relationship with the client and is contractually responsible for trade and risk monitoring as well as reporting trade confirmations and sending out monthly statements.
11. In order to enter into a Give-Up Transaction, a client will enter into a tri-party agreement, known as a "give-up agreement" (Give-Up Agreement), between an executing broker, a clearing broker, and the client. The Filer, as clearing broker, will generally use the International Uniform Brokerage Execution Services ("Give-Up") Agreement: Version 2017 (© Futures Industry Association Inc., 2017), as may be revised from time to time, as the Give-Up Agreement entered into with Institutional Permitted Clients.
12. Each party to the Give-Up Agreement, including the Filer as clearing broker, will represent in the Give-Up Agreement that it will perform its obligations under the Give-Up Agreement in accordance with applicable laws, governmental, regulatory, self-regulatory, exchange or clearing house rules, regulations, interpretations, protocols and the customs and usages of the exchange or clearing house on which the transactions governed by the Give-Up Agreement are executed and cleared, as in force from time to time.
13. In Ontario, an Institutional Permitted Client would place orders for Canadian Futures for execution on Canadian futures exchanges with an Ontario-registered FCM, which would then be cleared locally on the applicable Canadian futures exchange by that Ontario-registered FCM (if qualified to do so) or another clearing member of the applicable Canadian futures exchange. The executed trades would be placed into a client omnibus account maintained by the Filer with the clearing member of the applicable Canadian futures exchange that locally clears the trades, and the executed trades would be booked by the Filer to the futures account of the Ontario client maintained with the Filer for trading on exchanges globally. In this arrangement, the Ontario-registered FCM would be responsible for all client-facing interactions relating to the execution of the Canadian Futures.
14. In the case of a Montréal Exchange-listed futures contract, a member of the Canadian Derivatives Clearing Corporation (CDCC) would clear the trade on the Filer's behalf. Therefore, trade execution would be done by an Ontario-registered FCM, the positions would be held at CDCC by a CDCC member (which could be, but would not necessarily have to be, the executing broker) and given up to the Filer at which the Ontario Institutional Permitted Client maintains a clearing account. The Filer would then carry the resulting positions in an account maintained on its books by the Institutional Permitted Client, and the Filer would call for and collect applicable margin from the Institutional Permitted Client. The Filer, in turn, would remit the required margin to the CDCC member that cleared the trades. That CDCC member would then make the required margin payment(s) to CDCC.
15. As required by Art. 39 of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation, the Filer offers its clients the choice between "omnibus client segregation" and "individual client segregation" and keeps separate records and accounts that enable it to distinguish its own assets and positions from the client's assets and positions held under either account model on the Filer's books and records and in the books and records of the central counterparty (CCP).
16. Typically, when clearing transactions for the client through a CCP, the Filer enters into two separate transactions: (i) a principal-to-principal transaction with the CCP; and (ii) a principal-to-principal transaction with the client. In the Filer's case, the Filer will not face the CCP directly and will have a principal relationship with its clearing broker, JPMSCI.
JPMSCI, as the clearing member, will have a principal relationship with the CCP, and is required to provide assets to the CCP as margin. JPMSCI will, in turn, require margin from the Filer to support the client's cleared positions.
The Filer will then, in turn, require margin from the client to support the client's cleared positions. The Filer offers the client the choice to transfer by way of security interest or on a title transfer basis.
(i) Security Interest
a. If the client elects to transfer cash margin to the Filer on a security interest basis, the client will, subject to the client agreement, retain an interest in the cash, which will be held for the client in trust by the Filer as client money in accordance with the FCA's Client Asset Rules (CASS rules).
b. If the client transfers securities margin to the Filer on a security interest basis, the client will, subject to the client agreement, retain an interest in these securities. The securities will be held in custody for the client by the Filer in accordance with the CASS rules.
c. If the client defaults, the Filer will be entitled to exercise its security interest in accordance with the client agreement, e.g., by selling or realising the securities or by taking the cash margin and using it to discharge the client's liabilities.
d. The Filer may, subject to the client agreement, exercise a right to transfer full title to securities that the client has transferred to it by way of security to itself, at which point they will become the absolute property of the Filer and cease to be subject to the CASS rules. The Filer may then transfer title to those securities to a CCP or may itself use the securities and fund the margin at the CCP with cash or other assets.
e. The CASS rules impose a general duty to segregate client assets and to ensure client securities and monies are separately accounted for and segregated from the Filer's own securities and monies.
f. The Filer is subject to an annual CASS audit conducted by the Filer's independent auditors. The output of the audit is presented to the FCA and provides a reasonable assurance that the Filer adheres to the CASS rules.
g. Additionally, the Filer has the obligation under the CASS rules to provide monthly reporting to the FCA to evidence the holding of client money and assets on behalf of its clients.
(ii) Title Transfer
a. If the client transfers cash or securities margin to the Filer pursuant to a title transfer collateral arrangement, then the margin will become the absolute property of the Filer free from any equity, right, title or interest that the client might otherwise have.
b. Subject to the terms of the client agreement, the Filer will have a contractual obligation to repay an equivalent amount of cash or to redeliver equivalent securities to the client. The client will have no right to any specific securities or cash, whether held with the Filer, posted to a CCP or otherwise.
c. Cash and securities transferred on a title transfer basis will not be subject to the CASS rules.
17. The Filer is subject to the U.K. Capital Requirements Directive and Regulation and PRA capital rules, which implement Basel III. Its capital ratios exceed the minimum standards imposed by these requirements.
18. The Filer is required to prepare and submit capital solvency, leverage and large exposures data to the PRA on a quarterly basis. The disclosures are made in compliance with the Common Reporting (COREP) framework and are ultimately remitted to the European Banking Authority. COREP data is prepared on an unconsolidated basis for the Filer as well as on a consolidated basis for JP Morgan Capital Holdings Ltd, which is the Filer's U.K. consolidation group. The Filer is up-to-date in its submissions of COREP reporting.
19. The deposit insurance organization in the U.K. is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and the existing compensation limit on deposits is £85,000 per person per firm, available to eligible claimants.
20. Section 22 of the CFA provides that no person may trade in a commodity futures contract or a commodity futures option unless the person is registered as a dealer [Futures Commission Merchant], or as a representative of the dealer, or an exemption from the registration requirement is available. The Filer's activities in providing Clearing Broker Services in Give-Up Transactions involving Canadian Futures to, from or on behalf of Institutional Permitted Clients may constitute trading in Canadian Futures.
21. The Filer's activities in providing Clearing Broker Services in Give-Up Transactions involving Canadian Futures to, from or on behalf of Institutional Permitted Clients may also constitute trading in Canadian Futures by Institutional Permitted Clients. Institutional Permitted Clients may be unable to rely on the exemptions from the dealer registration requirement in the CFA because the Filer is not a registered dealer. Accordingly, the Filer is also seeking exemptive relief pursuant to the Ruling for Institutional Permitted Clients that receive Clearing Broker Services from the Filer.
22. The Filer believes that it would be beneficial to Institutional Permitted Clients in Ontario that trade in the international futures markets for the Filer to act as a clearing broker for both Canadian and non-Canadian futures for the Institutional Permitted Client because such an arrangement would enable the Institutional Permitted Client to benefit from significant efficiencies in collateral usage and consolidated reporting. Benefits would include single margin calls/payments, single wire transfer, ease of reconciliation, netting and cross product margining.
23. Clients may seek clearing services from the Filer in order to separate the execution of a trade from the clearing and settlement of a trade. This allows clients to use many executing brokers, without maintaining an active, ongoing clearing account with each executing broker. It also allows the client to consolidate the clearing and settlement of Canadian Futures in an account with the Filer.
24. The Filer does not dictate to its clients the executing brokers through which clients may execute trades. Clients are free to directly select their executing broker. Clients send orders to the executing broker who carries out the trade. The executing broker will be an appropriately registered dealer or a person or company relying on an exemption from dealer registration that permits it to execute the trade for clients.
25. The Filer is a "market participant" as defined under subsection 1(1) of the CFA. As a market participant, among other requirements, the Filer is required to comply with the record-keeping and provision of information provisions under section 14 of the CFA, which include the requirement to keep such books, records and other documents (a) as are necessary for the proper recording of business transactions and financial affairs, and the transactions executed on behalf of others, (b) as may otherwise be required under Ontario commodity futures law, and (c) as may reasonably be required to demonstrate compliance with Ontario commodity futures laws, and to deliver such records to the Commission if required.
AND UPON the Commission being satisfied that it would not be prejudicial to the public interest to do so;
IT IS RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that the Filer is not subject to the dealer registration requirement set out in the CFA in connection with providing Clearing Broker Services in Give-Up Transactions involving Canadian Futures to, from or on behalf of Institutional Permitted Clients so long as the Filer:
(a) has its head office or principal place of business in the U.K.;
(b) is authorized by the PRA and regulated by the PRA and the FCA in the U.K. and permitted to deal with eligible counterparties, professional and retail clients with respect to its permitted activities;
(c) is a member firm of the NFA;
(d) is subject to requirements over regulatory capital, lending of money, extension of credit and provision of margin, financial reporting to the PRA and/or the FCA, and segregation and custody of assets which provide protections that are substantially similar to the protections provided by the rules to which dealer members of IIROC are subject;
(e) limits its provision of Clearing Broker Services in respect of Give-Up Transactions involving Canadian Futures to Institutional Permitted Clients in Ontario;
(f) does not execute trades in Canadian Futures with or for Institutional Permitted Clients in Ontario, except as permitted under applicable Ontario securities or commodities futures laws;
(g) does not require its clients to use specific executing brokers through which clients may execute trades;
(h) submits audited financial statements to the Commission on an annual basis, within 90 days of the Filer's financial year end;
(i) complies with the filing and fee payment requirements applicable to a registrant under OSC Rule 13-502 Fees; provided that, if the Filer does not rely on the IDE, by December 31st of each year, the Filer pays a participation fee based on its specified Ontario revenues for its previous financial year in compliance with the requirements of Part 3 and section 6.4 of OSC Rule 13-502 Fees as if the Filer relied on the IDE;
(j) files in an electronic and searchable format with the Commission such reports as to any or all of its trading activities in Canada as the Commission may, upon notice, require from time to time;
(k) pays the increased compliance and case assessment costs of the Commission due to the Filer's location outside of Ontario, including, as required, the reasonable cost of hiring a third party to perform a compliance review on behalf of the Commission;
(l) has provided to each Institutional Permitted Client the following disclosure in writing:
(i) a statement that the Filer is not registered in Ontario to trade in Canadian Futures as principal or agent;
(ii) a statement that the Filer's head office or principal place of business is located in London, U.K.;
(iii) a statement that all or substantially all of the Filer's assets may be situated outside of Canada;
(iv) a statement that there may be difficulty enforcing legal rights against the Filer because of the above; and
(v) the name and address of the Filer's agent for service of process in Ontario; and
(m) has submitted to the Commission a completed Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in the form attached as Appendix "A" hereto.
This Decision will terminate on the earliest of:
(i) the expiry of any transition period as may be provided by law, after the effective date of the repeal of the CFA; and
(ii) five years after the date of this Decision.
AND IT IS FURTHER RULED, pursuant to section 38 of the CFA, that an Institutional Permitted Client is not subject to the dealer registration requirement in the CFA in connection with trades in Canadian Futures when receiving Clearing Broker Services in Give-Up Transactions where the Filer acts in connection with trades in Canadian Futures on behalf of the Institutional Permitted Client from the Filer pursuant to the above ruling.
SUBMISSION TO JURISDICTION AND APPOINTMENT OF AGENT FOR SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DEALER OR INTERNATIONAL ADVISER EXEMPTED FROM REGISTRATION UNDER THE COMMODITY FUTURES ACT, ONTARIO
1. Name of person or company ("International Firm"):
2. If the International Firm was previously assigned an NRD number as a registered firm or an unregistered exempt international firm, provide the NRD number of the firm:
3. Jurisdiction of incorporation of the International Firm:
4. Head office address of the International Firm:
5. The name, e-mail address, phone number and fax number of the International Firm's individual(s) responsible for the supervisory procedure of the International Firm, its chief compliance officer, or equivalent.
6. The International Firm is relying on an exemption order under section 38 or section 80 of the Commodity Futures Act (Ontario) that is similar to the following exemption in National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations (the "Relief Order"):
[ ] Section 8.18 [international dealer]
[ ] Section 8.26 [international adviser]
[ ] Other
7. Name of agent for service of process (the "Agent for Service"):
8. Address for service of process on the Agent for Service:
9. The International Firm designates and appoints the Agent for Service at the address stated above as its agent upon whom may be served a notice, pleading, subpoena, summons or other process in any action, investigation or administrative, criminal, quasi-criminal or other proceeding (a "Proceeding") arising out of or relating to or concerning the International Firm's activities in the local jurisdiction and irrevocably waives any right to raise as a defence in any such proceeding any alleged lack of jurisdiction to bring such Proceeding.
10. The International Firm irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative tribunals of the local jurisdiction in any Proceeding arising out of or related to or concerning the International Firm's activities in the local jurisdiction.
11. Until 6 years after the International Firm ceases to rely on the Relief Order, the International Firm must submit to the regulator
a. a new Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service in this form no later than the 30th day before the date this Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is terminated;
b. an amended Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service no later than the 30th day before any change in the name or above address of the Agent for Service;
c. a notice detailing a change to any information submitted in this form, other than the name or above address of the Agent for Service, no later than the 30th day after the change.
12. This Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service is governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the local jurisdiction.
(Signature of the International Firm or authorized signatory)
(Name of signatory)
(Title of signatory)
The undersigned accepts the appointment as Agent for Service of ____________________ [Insert name of International Firm] under the terms and conditions of the foregoing Submission to Jurisdiction and Appointment of Agent for Service.
(Signature of the Agent for Service or authorized signatory)
(Name of signatory)
(Title of signatory)
This form, and notice of a change to any information submitted in this form, is to be submitted through the Ontario Securities Commission's Electronic Filing Portal: