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From Securities Regulation Daily, October 2, 2018

Chairman Giancarlo touts enforcement achievements, cooperative efforts

By Amy Leisinger, J.D.

In remarks before the Economic Club of Minnesota, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo discussed the agency’s enforcement activities and touted its strong results. The CFTC strives to foster transparent, competitive, and sound markets, he said, and vigorous enforcement is essential to fulfilling that mission. Unlawful activity impedes competition and hinders economic growth, and the Commission is dedicated detecting, punishing, and deterring misconduct, according to the Chairman.

While explaining that a strong enforcement program is about more than just numbers, Giancarlo noted that the CFTC’s enforcement activities over the past year have been among the most vigorous in the agency’s history. Over the last fiscal year, he stated, the CFTC filed 83 enforcement actions, a 25 percent increase over each of the last three years. According to the chairman, the total amount of civil penalties imposed totaled approximately $900 million, and the CFTC has collected about $800 million of that amount. The CFTC also brought more large-scale matters than in any previous year and imposed monetary judgments of more than $10 million in 10 cases, he said.

In addition, Giancarlo noted that the Commission has prioritized individual accountability, and approximately 70 percent of its cases involved charges against individuals, including individuals at financial institutions and traders at proprietary trading firms and managed funds. The CFTC brought more manipulative conduct and spoofing cases and filed more parallel criminal actions than in any previous year, according to the chairman, and continues its efforts to strengthen the whistleblower program. The CFTC granted more and larger whistleblower awards in the last fiscal year than in any other in the history of the program, which should encourage more whistleblowers to come forward regarding misconduct, he explained.

The CFTC continues to bring cases targeting manipulative trading practices and benchmark manipulation while also pursuing new forms of manipulative conduct involving technology abuses and novel patterns of manipulation crossing exchanges, markets, and borders, he said. The Commission does, however, remain committed to protecting customers and detecting retail fraud and has brought actions targeting fraud in the retail forex, precious metals, and virtual currency markets. The CFTC has significantly increased its coordination with law enforcement, self-regulatory organizations, and other regulators: "Bad actors don’t conform their misconduct to the technical boundaries of different regulatory jurisdictions," Giancarlo noted.

According to the chairman, active and disciplined enforcement efforts are compatible with and even crucial to foster economic growth. "By enforcing our principles we make the practicalities of commerce work in ways that benefit all Americans," he concluded.

MainStory: TopStory CFTCNews Enforcement

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