The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is seeing a drop in CFTC enforcement actions for 2017. The agency recently announced that it imposed nearly $413 million in sanctions this fiscal year, amounting to 49 enforcement actions during the 12 months ending in September 2017. Of the $413 million, the CFTC said it had secured nearly $334 million in civil penalties and $79 million in disgorgement.
The sanctions and the number of enforcement actions are less than half of the penalties from the previous fiscal year and the lowest since 2011. According to CFTC statistics, there were 68 enforcement actions filed in fiscal 2016, which generated nearly $1.3 billion in penalties and disgorgement orders.
The drop in the amount and size of enforcement actions comes as the CFTC reshapes its enforcement practices in the face of a shrinking budget. These changes include campaigning for companies to self-report violations in exchange for smaller penalties.
Despite this, the CFTC praised its own efforts during 2017, highlighting 12 cases related to market manipulation and attempted market manipulation, six for failure to protect customer funds and related problems, and 20 for retail fraud. Three more cases were brought for wash trades, position limit violations and other trading problems; seven were filed for reporting and record-keeping violations; and one for illegal, off-exchange transactions.
The drop in CFTC enforcement actions also comes after the agency’s Enforcement Division wrapped up cases involving rigging of the Libor and other benchmark interest rates, as well as other prominent cases. Those cases allowed the agency to claim a record $3.1 billion in enforcement actions in fiscal 2015.
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