Public Citizen Urges CFTC to End Exemptions for Banks with Significant Exposure to Oil and Gas Industry

Capital One backs off waiver request after Public Citizen inquiry

By Tyson Slocum

Chairman Heath P. Tarbert
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission 1155 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20581

Dear Chairman Tarbert,

I thank you and all Commission staff for their hard work and dedication during these trying times.

At the March 24 Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee meeting, I asked questions about the CFTC’s no action letter exempting an anonymous bank from Major Swap Participant registration. I followed up these questions with a letter on March 25 that, among other things, asked the Commission to “resist granting exemptions for financial institutions with significant loan and swaps exposure to the oil and gas industry.”1

The bank, soon identified as Capital One, issued a statement this morning: “we’ve notified the CFTC that we will not rely on the waiver and will register if derivative volumes reach the threshold.”2

I call on the CFTC to formally withdraw the no action letter granted to Capital One, and to refrain from issuing any more such exemptions from Major Swap Participant rules for any other institution.

Thank you so much for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your response.

Best,

Tyson Slocum, Energy Program Director
Member, Energy & Environmental Markets Advisory Committee Public Citizen, Inc.
215 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 454-5191
tslocum@citizen.org

1 www.citizen.org/article/letter-to-the-cftc-on-systemic-risk-exemptions/
2 Andrea Riquier, Capital One won’t make use of controversial regulator request, Marketwatch, April 6, 2020, www.marketwatch.com/story/exclusive-capital-one-to-withdraw-controversial-regulator-request- 2020-04-04