Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the GSD and MBSD Methodology Documents and the MBSD Clearing Rules, 16921-16925 [2019-08099]

Download as PDF jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices registered investment company may make with respect to any one taxable year, plus a supplemental distribution made pursuant to section 855 of the Code not exceeding 10% of the total amount distributed for the year, plus one additional capital gain dividend made in whole or in part to avoid the excise tax under section 4982 of the Code. 2. Applicants believe that investors in certain closed-end funds may prefer an investment vehicle that provides regular current income through a fixed distribution policy (‘‘Distribution Policy’’). Applicants propose that a Fund be permitted to adopt a Distribution Policy, pursuant to which the Fund would distribute periodically (as frequently as twelve times in a taxable year) to its common stockholders a fixed percentage of the market price of the Fund’s common stock at a particular point in time or a fixed percentage of net asset value (‘‘NAV’’) at a particular time or a fixed amount per share of common stock, any of which may be adjusted from time to time. 3. Applicants request an order under section 6(c) of the Act granting an exemption from section 19(b) of the Act and rule 19b–1 to permit a Fund to distribute periodic capital gain dividends (as defined in section 852(b)(3)(C) of the Code) as frequently as twelve times in any one taxable year in respect of its common stock and as often as specified by, or determined in accordance with the terms of, any preferred stock issued by the Fund. Section 6(c) of the Act provides, in relevant part, that the Commission may exempt any person or transaction from any provision of the Act to the extent that such exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. 4. Applicants state that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the terms and conditions stated in the application, which generally are designed to address the concerns underlying section 19(b) and rule 19b–1, including concerns about proper disclosures and shareholders’ understanding of the source(s) of a Fund’s distributions and concerns about improper sales practices. Among other things, such terms and conditions require that (1) the board of directors or trustees of the Fund (the ‘‘Board’’) review such information as is reasonably necessary to make an informed determination of whether to adopt the proposed Distribution Policy VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 and that the Board periodically review the amount of the distributions in light of the investment experience of the Fund, and (2) that the Fund’s shareholders receive appropriate disclosures concerning the distributions. For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority. Jill M. Peterson, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–08067 Filed 4–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–85676; File No. SR–FICC– 2019–001] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the GSD and MBSD Methodology Documents and the MBSD Clearing Rules April 17, 2019. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 5, 2019, Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (‘‘FICC’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the clearing agency. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons. I. Clearing Agency’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The proposed rule change 3 consists of amendments to the GSD Methodology Document—GSD Initial Market Risk Margin Model (‘‘GSD QRM Methodology Document’’) 4 and the 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 Capitalized terms used herein and not defined shall have the meaning assigned to such terms in the FICC Government Securities Division (‘‘GSD’’) Rulebook (‘‘GSD Rules’’) and the FICC MortgageBacked Securities Division (‘‘MBSD,’’ and together with GSD, the ‘‘Divisions’’) Clearing Rules (‘‘MBSD Rules’’), as applicable, available at http:// www.dtcc.com/legal/rules-and-procedures.aspx. 4 The GSD QRM Methodology Document was filed as a confidential exhibit in the rule filing and advance notice for GSD sensitivity VaR. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83362 (June 1, 2018) 83 FR 26514 (June 7, 2018) (SR–FICC–2018– 001) (‘‘GSD Approval Order’’) and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83223 (May 11, 2018) 83 FR 23020 (May 17, 2018) (SR–FICC–2018–801) (‘‘GSD Advance Notice’’). 2 17 PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16921 MBSD Methodology and Model Operations Document—MBSD Quantitative Risk Model 5 (‘‘MBSD QRM Methodology Document,’’ and together with the GSD QRM Methodology Document, the ‘‘QRM Methodology Documents’’) to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods for (1) the alternative volatility calculation (‘‘Margin Proxy’’) 6 of GSD and MBSD and (2) the two haircut rates that form the basis of the GSD haircut charge.7 FICC would replace the specific references to the look-back periods with more general language that would (i) refer to a monthly parameter report, (ii) specify the governance around changing the look-back periods, and (iii) state that the look-back period would not be less than one year. FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document. FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ‘‘Margin Proxy’’ and use 5 The MBSD QRM Methodology Document was filed as a confidential exhibit in the rule filing and advance notice for MBSD sensitivity VaR. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79868 (January 24, 2017) 82 FR 8780 (January 30, 2017) (SR–FICC– 2016–007) (‘‘MBSD Approval Order’’) and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79843 (January 19, 2017) 82 FR 8555 (January 26, 2017) (SR–FICC– 2016–801) (‘‘MBSD Advance Notice’’). 6 FICC has adopted procedures that would govern in the event that the vendor fails to provide risk analytics data used by FICC to calculate the VaR Charge (which is defined in GSD Rule 1 and MBSD Rule 1). Supra note 3. These procedures include the application of the Margin Proxy. Specifically, each Division’s Margin Proxy would be applied as an alternative volatility calculation for the VaR Charge (subject to the VaR Floor) if FICC determines that the data disruption will extend beyond five (5) business days. See GSD Approval Order and MBSD Approval Order, supra notes 4 and 5. 7 Occasionally, portfolios contain classes of securities that reflect market price changes that are not consistently related to historical risk factors. The value of these securities is often uncertain because the securities’ market volume varies widely, thus the price histories are limited. Because the volume and price information for such securities is not robust, a historical simulation approach would not generate VaR Charge amounts that adequately reflect the risk profile of such securities. FICC utilizes a haircut method (hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘GSD haircut charge’’) based on the volatility of historic index returns for any security that lacks sufficient historical data to be incorporated into the sensitivity approach. See GSD Approval Order and MBSD Approval Order, supra notes 4 and 5. The GSD haircut charge consists of two haircut rates: (i) The haircut rate for mortgage-backed securities (‘‘MBS’’) pools without sensitivity analytics data and (ii) the haircut rate for Treasury and Agency bonds without sensitivity analytics data (hereinafter, the ‘‘GSD Haircut Rates’’). The proposal applies to the look-back periods for the GSD Haircut Rates. E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 16922 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices such term in the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge,’’ as described below. In addition, FICC would clarify the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge’’ in the MBSD Rules by adding the word ‘‘Clearing’’ before the word ‘‘Members.’’ FICC is requesting confidential treatment of the QRM Methodology Documents and has filed them separately with the Secretary of the Commission.8 II. Clearing Agency’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, the clearing agency included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The clearing agency has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. (A) Clearing Agency’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 1. Purpose The purpose of this rule filing is to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates. FICC would replace these specific references to the look-back periods with more general language as described below. FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications, corrections and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document. FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ‘‘Margin Proxy’’ and use such term in the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge,’’ as described below. In addition, FICC is proposing to clarify the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge’’ in the MBSD Rules by adding the word ‘‘Clearing’’ before the word ‘‘Members.’’ (A) Replacing Specific References to the Look-Back Periods for the Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and the GSD Haircut Rates With More General Language in the QRM Methodology Documents Each of the QRM Methodology Documents provides the methodology by which FICC calculates the GSD and 8 See 17 CFR 240–24b–2. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 MBSD VaR Charges. The QRM Methodology Documents specify model inputs, parameters and assumptions, among other information. With respect to the Margin Proxy, each of the QRM Methodology Documents refers to the specific look-back periods that are in use today. Similarly, the GSD QRM Methodology Document refers to the specific look-back periods for the GSD Haircut Rates. FICC is proposing to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove the specific references to the current look-back periods in use and replace them with general language that would refer to a monthly parameter report (that would contain the specific look-back periods). FICC has the discretion to change the look-back periods that are the subject of this proposal. Specifically, with respect to the GSD haircut charge, the GSD QRM Methodology Document provides that certain key model parameters, including the look-back periods for the GSD Haircut Rates, are subject to periodic review and recalibration.9 With respect to the Margin Proxy, the rule filings for GSD sensitivity VaR and MBSD sensitivity VaR state that if FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the proposed VaR model (i.e., the sensitivity approach), or if the Margin Proxy’s backtesting results do not meet FICC’s 99 percent confidence level, management may recommend remedial actions to the Model Risk Governance Committee (‘‘MRGC’’), and to the extent necessary the Management Risk Committee (‘‘MRC’’), such as increasing the lookback period and/or applying an appropriate historical stressed period to the Margin Proxy calibration.10 By replacing specific references to the lookback periods in the QRM Methodology Documents with general language, FICC would be acting within its existing discretion and would no longer need to submit subsequent rule filings to change these look-back periods unless such changes require an advance notice. Under the proposal, the QRM Methodology Documents would provide that the look-back periods for the Margin Proxy and the two GSD Haircut Rates would be tracked in a monthly parameter report. The QRM 9 Supra note 4. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82588 (January 26, 2018) 83 FR 4687, 4692 (February 1, 2018) (SR–FICC–2018–001) (‘‘Notice of GSD Rule Filing’’); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79491 (December 7, 2016) 81 FR 90001, 90005 (December 13, 2016) (SR–FICC–2016–007) (‘‘Notice of MBSD Rule Filing’’); and MBSD Approval Order, supra note 5, at 8782–8783. 10 See PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Methodology Documents would also provide that these look-back periods shall not be less than one year. Finally, the QRM Methodology Documents would state that any changes to these look-back periods would be subject to the governance process set forth in the Clearing Agency Model Risk Management Framework (the ‘‘Framework).11 The Framework provides that the Model Validation and Control Group (‘‘MVC’’) prepares Model performance monitoring reports on both a monthly and daily basis. On a monthly basis, MVC (i) performs sensitivity analysis on each of FICC’s Models,12 (ii) reviews key parameters and assumptions for backtesting, and (iii) considers modifications to ensure that the backtesting practices of FICC are appropriate for determining the adequacy of its applicable margin resources.13 The Framework states that MRGC will review the Model performance monitoring, which includes review of risk-based Models used to calculate margin requirements and relevant parameters/threshold indicators, sensitivity analysis, and Model backtesting results. Serious performance concerns will be escalated to the MRC.14 (B) Clarifications, Corrections, and Technical Changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a Clarification and Technical Changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document FICC is proposing to make certain clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document, as described in detail below. 11 Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81485 (August 25, 2017) 82 FR 41433 (August 31, 2017) (SR–DTC–2017–008; SR–FICC–2017–014; SR– NSCC–2017–008) (‘‘Framework Approval Order’’). In general, the Framework describes the model risk management practices adopted by FICC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and The Depository Trust Company. The Framework is designed to help identify, measure, monitor, and manage the risks associated with the design, development, implementation, use, and validation of quantitative models. The Framework describes (i) governance of the Framework; (ii) key terms; (iii) model inventory procedures; (iv) model validation procedures; (v) model approval process; and (vi) model performance procedures. Id. 12 The term ‘‘Model’’ refers to a quantitative method, system, or approach that applies statistical, economic, financial, or mathematical theories, techniques, and assumptions to process input data into quantitative estimates. Id. 13 Id. at 41435. 14 Id. E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices (1) GSD QRM Methodology Document c. Technical Changes a. Clarifications Finally, FICC proposes to make certain technical changes (e.g., word usage, spacing corrections, grammar changes, and revising certain references from singular to plural) to the GSD QRM Methodology Document. For example, for consistency, FICC proposes to revise a reference from ‘‘window’’ to ‘‘period’’ in the description of key parameters and all references from ‘‘lookback’’ to ‘‘lookback’’ and from ‘‘TBA/pool’’ to ‘‘PoolTBA.’’ jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES FICC would make certain clarifications to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, as described below. In the section of the GSD QRM Methodology Document that describes key parameters (where the look-back periods are currently listed), FICC proposes to rearrange the list so that the look-back periods associated with sensitivity VaR are grouped together and the look-back periods for GSD Haircut Rates are grouped together. FICC also proposes to add sub-headings to enhance readability and clarity. In addition, in the section of the GSD QRM Methodology Document that describes key parameters, FICC would amend the language describing the GSD Haircut Rates to correspond to the language used in later sections for clarity and consistency. Where the GSD QRM Methodology Document references the governance practice regarding the review and recalibration of the look-back periods, FICC also proposes to specifically reference the Framework. FICC would provide additional clarity by adding language describing types of data that would be used to determine key model parameters.15 FICC would also clarify the GSD QRM Methodology Document by adding language stating that management may implement any approved changes. With respect to the descriptions of some of the GSD Haircut Rates, FICC would (i) add clarifying terminology and (ii) delete duplicative explanations and replace them with a cross-reference to the appendix, which contains the same explanation. (2) MBSD QRM Methodology Document a. Clarification FICC proposes to clarify the MBSD Methodology Document by adding language stating that management may implement any approved changes. b. Technical Changes FICC proposes to make certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document (e.g., grammar changes and revising certain references from singular to plural). FICC would also revise a reference from ‘‘lookback’’ to ‘‘look-back’’ for consistency. In addition, FICC would remove the revision history because it is solely administrative and would not affect the calculation of margin or Clearing Members’ substantive rights or obligations. (C) Clarifications to the MBSD Rules FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ‘‘Margin Proxy’’ and use such term in the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge.’’ In addition, FICC would clarify the definition of ‘‘VaR Charge’’ in the MBSD Rules by adding the word ‘‘Clearing’’ before the word ‘‘Members.’’ b. Corrections 2. Statutory Basis FICC also proposes to make certain corrections to the GSD QRM Methodology Document. FICC would correct a typographical error in the description of key parameters by revising a reference from MBSD to MBS. In addition, to correct an omission in the GSD QRM Methodology Document, FICC would add that if FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the VaR model, management may recommend remedial actions (as was stated in the GSD sensitivity VaR rule filing).16 FICC believes that this proposal is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a registered clearing agency. Specifically, FICC believes that the proposed changes to the QRM Methodology Documents and the MBSD Rules described above are consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act, for the reasons described below.17 FICC also believes that the proposed changes to the MBSD Rules are consistent with Rule 17Ad– 22(e)(23)(ii), as promulgated under the Act, for the reasons described below.18 Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act requires, in part, that the rules of a note 11. Notice of GSD Rule Filing, supra note 10, clearing agency be designed ‘‘to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible.’’ 19 FICC believes that amending the QRM Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) the GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language as described above would enhance clarity and consistency for FICC. Specifically, the proposed changes would ensure that the QRM Methodology Documents (which have been filed confidentially) are in line with the understanding of FICC’s risk management group (‘‘FICC Risk Management’’) that, if FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the VaR model, or if the Margin Proxy’s backtesting results do not meet FICC’s 99 percent confidence level, then, subject to its MRGC/MRC governance process described above, FICC may change the look-back periods for the GSD and MBSD Margin Proxy as long as the look-back periods are not less than one year. Similarly, if FICC observes that the asset class backtesting performance associated with the GSD Haircut Rates is not at the 99% confidence level, then, subject to its MRGC/MRC governance process described above, FICC may change the look-back periods for the GSD Haircut Rates as long as the look-back periods are not less than one year. FICC believes that enhancing clarity and consistency within FICC with respect to changes to the aforementioned look-back periods would help to ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from its Clearing Members and Netting Members and would thereby assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.20 FICC believes that the proposed changes, which constitute certain clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document, would also enhance the clarity of the QRM Methodology Documents for FICC. As the QRM Methodology Documents are used by FICC Risk Management personnel regarding the calculation of 15 Supra 16 See VerDate Sep<11>2014 17 15 18 17 at 4692. 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). CFR 240.17Ad–22(e)(23)(ii). Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16923 19 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). 20 Id. E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 16924 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES margin requirements, it is important for the accurate and smooth functioning of the margining process that FICC Risk Management understands when lookback periods can change and the governance process associated with them. The changes referenced in this paragraph would promote such understanding. This would, in turn, allow FICC Risk Management to charge an appropriate level of margin. As such, FICC believes that enhancing the clarity of the QRM Methodology Documents would assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.21 FICC believes the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the MBSD Rules would help ensure that the calculation of margin is clear and transparent to Clearing Members and FICC, and thereby, help ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from Clearing Members and that Clearing Members understand the relevant definition. As such, FICC believes that the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the MBSD Rules would also assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody and control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.22 Rule 17Ad–22(e)(23)(ii) under the Act requires FICC to establish, implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to provide sufficient information to enable participants to identify and evaluate the risks, fees, and other material costs they incur by participating in the covered clearing agency.23 FICC believes the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the MBSD Rules would help ensure that the calculation of margin is transparent and clear to Clearing Members, thereby enabling Clearing Members to better understand the calculation of margin as well as providing them with increased predictability and certainty regarding their obligations. As such, FICC believes that the proposed rule changes are consistent with Rule 17Ad–22(e)(23)(ii) under the Act.24 (B) Clearing Agency’s Statement on Burden on Competition FICC believes that the proposed changes to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods 21 Id. for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language (as described above) could have an impact on competition. Specifically, FICC believes that the proposed change could burden competition because changes to the look-back periods could result in larger Required Fund Deposits amounts for some Members than the amount currently calculated. When the proposal results in a larger Required Fund Deposit for Members, the proposed changes could burden competition for Members that have lower operating margins or higher costs of capital compared to other Members. Whether such burden on competition would be significant would depend on each Member’s financial status and the specific risks presented by each Member’s portfolio. Regardless of whether the burden on competition would be significant, FICC believes that any burden on competition imposed by the proposed changes would be both necessary and appropriate in furtherance of FICC’s efforts to mitigate risks and meet the requirements of the Act,25 as described in this filing and further below. FICC believes the above-described burden on competition that may be created by the proposed changes to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language would be necessary in furtherance of the Act.26 As stated above, with respect to the Margin Proxy, the proposed change would address situations where FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the VaR model, or where the Margin Proxy’s backtesting results do not meet FICC’s 99 percent confidence level. Similarly, with respect to the GSD Haircut Rates, the proposed changes would address situations where FICC observes that asset class backtesting performance is not at the 99% confidence level. Specifically, the proposed changes would help ensure that the QRM Methodology Documents (which have been filed confidentially) are in line with FICC Risk Management’s understanding that, in those circumstances, FICC may change the look-back periods for the GSD and MBSD Margin Proxy and GSD Haircut 22 Id. 23 17 Rates as long as the look-back periods are not less than one year. FICC believes that enhancing clarity and consistency within FICC with respect to changes to the aforementioned look-back periods would help to ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from its Clearing Members and Netting Members and would thereby assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.27 FICC also believes that the abovedescribed burden on competition that could be created by the proposed change to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language would be appropriate in furtherance of the Act.28 FICC believes these proposed changes would be appropriate in furtherance of the Act because they have been designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible. The proposal achieves this purpose by providing for FICC to act in circumstances where the 99% confidence level is not being met. Specifically, FICC would only change the look-back periods in certain circumstances (i.e., where FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the sensitivity VaR model, or where the Margin Proxy’s backtesting results do not meet FICC’s 99 percent confidence level), and/or where FICC observes that the asset class backtesting performance is not at the 99% confidence level. Furthermore, FICC believes these proposed changes are appropriate because they would be consistent with the discretion (subject to FICC’s governance) that FICC has to make changes to the look-back periods consistent with the GSD and MBSD sensitivity VaR filings and GSD QRM Methodology Document.29 As such, FICC believes these proposed changes would help to ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from its Clearing Members and Netting Members, and therefore, are designed to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.30 27 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F). U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(I). 29 Supra notes 4, 5, and 10. 30 15 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(F). 28 15 CFR 240.17Ad–22(e)(23)(ii). 25 15 24 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 U.S.C. 78q–1(b)(3)(I). 26 Id. 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices In addition, FICC does not believe the proposed clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document and the proposed clarification and technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document described above would have any impact on competition because these proposed changes would enhance the clarity and accuracy of the QRM Methodology Documents and would not affect the substantive rights of Netting Members and Clearing Members. FICC also does not believe that the proposed clarifications to the MBSD Rules would have any impact on competition because these proposed changes would enhance the clarity and accuracy of the MBSD Rules and would not affect the substantive rights of Clearing Members. (C) Clearing Agency’s Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others FICC has not received or solicited any written comments relating to this proposal. FICC will notify the Commission of any written comments received by FICC. III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change, and Timing for Commission Action Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will: (A) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or (B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved. IV. Solicitation of Comments Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: Paper Comments • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–FICC–2019–001. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission’s internet website (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in the Commission’s Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of FICC and on DTCC’s website (http://dtcc.com/legal/sec-rulefilings.aspx). All comments received will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying information from comment submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR–FICC– 2019–001 and should be submitted on or before May 14, 2019. For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.31 Jill M. Peterson, Assistant Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–08099 Filed 4–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011–01–P jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Electronic Comments • Use the Commission’s internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/ rules/sro.shtml); or • Send an email to rule-comments@ sec.gov. Please include File Number SR– FICC–2019–001 on the subject line. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 16925 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–85681; File No. SR–BOX– 2019–10] Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rules Governing the Trading of Complex Customer Cross Orders April 17, 2019. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’),1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 4, 2019, BOX Exchange LLC (the ‘‘Exchange’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change The Exchange proposes to adopt rules governing the trading of Complex Customer Cross Orders. The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission’s Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange’s internet website at http:// boxoptions.com. II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change In its filing with the Commission, the self-regulatory organization included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The self-regulatory organization has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose The Exchange is proposing rules that will make existing functionality available to additional order types on 1 15 31 17 PO 00000 CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2 17 E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 23APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 78 (Tuesday, April 23, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16921-16925]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-08099]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

[Release No. 34-85676; File No. SR-FICC-2019-001]


Self-Regulatory Organizations; Fixed Income Clearing Corporation; 
Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the GSD and MBSD 
Methodology Documents and the MBSD Clearing Rules

April 17, 2019.
    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(``Act'') \1\ and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,\2\ notice is hereby given that 
on April 5, 2019, Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (``FICC'') filed 
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (``Commission'') the 
proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which 
Items have been prepared by the clearing agency. The Commission is 
publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change 
from interested persons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).
    \2\ 17 CFR 240.19b-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the 
Proposed Rule Change

    The proposed rule change \3\ consists of amendments to the GSD 
Methodology Document--GSD Initial Market Risk Margin Model (``GSD QRM 
Methodology Document'') \4\ and the MBSD Methodology and Model 
Operations Document--MBSD Quantitative Risk Model \5\ (``MBSD QRM 
Methodology Document,'' and together with the GSD QRM Methodology 
Document, the ``QRM Methodology Documents'') to remove specific 
references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-back periods 
for (1) the alternative volatility calculation (``Margin Proxy'') \6\ 
of GSD and MBSD and (2) the two haircut rates that form the basis of 
the GSD haircut charge.\7\ FICC would replace the specific references 
to the look-back periods with more general language that would (i) 
refer to a monthly parameter report, (ii) specify the governance around 
changing the look-back periods, and (iii) state that the look-back 
period would not be less than one year. FICC is also proposing to make 
certain clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD 
QRM Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical 
changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Capitalized terms used herein and not defined shall have the 
meaning assigned to such terms in the FICC Government Securities 
Division (``GSD'') Rulebook (``GSD Rules'') and the FICC Mortgage-
Backed Securities Division (``MBSD,'' and together with GSD, the 
``Divisions'') Clearing Rules (``MBSD Rules''), as applicable, 
available at http://www.dtcc.com/legal/rules-and-procedures.aspx.
    \4\ The GSD QRM Methodology Document was filed as a confidential 
exhibit in the rule filing and advance notice for GSD sensitivity 
VaR. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83362 (June 1, 2018) 83 
FR 26514 (June 7, 2018) (SR-FICC-2018-001) (``GSD Approval Order'') 
and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 83223 (May 11, 2018) 83 FR 
23020 (May 17, 2018) (SR-FICC-2018-801) (``GSD Advance Notice'').
    \5\ The MBSD QRM Methodology Document was filed as a 
confidential exhibit in the rule filing and advance notice for MBSD 
sensitivity VaR. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 79868 
(January 24, 2017) 82 FR 8780 (January 30, 2017) (SR-FICC-2016-007) 
(``MBSD Approval Order'') and Securities Exchange Act Release No. 
79843 (January 19, 2017) 82 FR 8555 (January 26, 2017) (SR-FICC-
2016-801) (``MBSD Advance Notice'').
    \6\ FICC has adopted procedures that would govern in the event 
that the vendor fails to provide risk analytics data used by FICC to 
calculate the VaR Charge (which is defined in GSD Rule 1 and MBSD 
Rule 1). Supra note 3. These procedures include the application of 
the Margin Proxy. Specifically, each Division's Margin Proxy would 
be applied as an alternative volatility calculation for the VaR 
Charge (subject to the VaR Floor) if FICC determines that the data 
disruption will extend beyond five (5) business days. See GSD 
Approval Order and MBSD Approval Order, supra notes 4 and 5.
    \7\ Occasionally, portfolios contain classes of securities that 
reflect market price changes that are not consistently related to 
historical risk factors. The value of these securities is often 
uncertain because the securities' market volume varies widely, thus 
the price histories are limited. Because the volume and price 
information for such securities is not robust, a historical 
simulation approach would not generate VaR Charge amounts that 
adequately reflect the risk profile of such securities. FICC 
utilizes a haircut method (hereinafter referred to as the ``GSD 
haircut charge'') based on the volatility of historic index returns 
for any security that lacks sufficient historical data to be 
incorporated into the sensitivity approach. See GSD Approval Order 
and MBSD Approval Order, supra notes 4 and 5. The GSD haircut charge 
consists of two haircut rates: (i) The haircut rate for mortgage-
backed securities (``MBS'') pools without sensitivity analytics data 
and (ii) the haircut rate for Treasury and Agency bonds without 
sensitivity analytics data (hereinafter, the ``GSD Haircut Rates''). 
The proposal applies to the look-back periods for the GSD Haircut 
Rates.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD 
Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ``Margin Proxy'' 
and use

[[Page 16922]]

such term in the definition of ``VaR Charge,'' as described below. In 
addition, FICC would clarify the definition of ``VaR Charge'' in the 
MBSD Rules by adding the word ``Clearing'' before the word ``Members.''
    FICC is requesting confidential treatment of the QRM Methodology 
Documents and has filed them separately with the Secretary of the 
Commission.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ See 17 CFR 240-24b-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis 
for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the clearing agency included 
statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule 
change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule 
change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places 
specified in Item IV below. The clearing agency has prepared summaries, 
set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant 
aspects of such statements.

(A) Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis 
for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose
    The purpose of this rule filing is to amend the QRM Methodology 
Documents to remove specific references (and explanations relating 
thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and 
MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates. FICC would replace these specific 
references to the look-back periods with more general language as 
described below. FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications, 
corrections and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, 
and a clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM 
Methodology Document.
    FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD 
Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ``Margin Proxy'' 
and use such term in the definition of ``VaR Charge,'' as described 
below. In addition, FICC is proposing to clarify the definition of 
``VaR Charge'' in the MBSD Rules by adding the word ``Clearing'' before 
the word ``Members.''
(A) Replacing Specific References to the Look-Back Periods for the 
Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and the GSD Haircut Rates With More 
General Language in the QRM Methodology Documents
    Each of the QRM Methodology Documents provides the methodology by 
which FICC calculates the GSD and MBSD VaR Charges. The QRM Methodology 
Documents specify model inputs, parameters and assumptions, among other 
information. With respect to the Margin Proxy, each of the QRM 
Methodology Documents refers to the specific look-back periods that are 
in use today. Similarly, the GSD QRM Methodology Document refers to the 
specific look-back periods for the GSD Haircut Rates. FICC is proposing 
to amend the QRM Methodology Documents to remove the specific 
references to the current look-back periods in use and replace them 
with general language that would refer to a monthly parameter report 
(that would contain the specific look-back periods).
    FICC has the discretion to change the look-back periods that are 
the subject of this proposal. Specifically, with respect to the GSD 
haircut charge, the GSD QRM Methodology Document provides that certain 
key model parameters, including the look-back periods for the GSD 
Haircut Rates, are subject to periodic review and recalibration.\9\ 
With respect to the Margin Proxy, the rule filings for GSD sensitivity 
VaR and MBSD sensitivity VaR state that if FICC observes material 
differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate 
Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the proposed VaR model 
(i.e., the sensitivity approach), or if the Margin Proxy's backtesting 
results do not meet FICC's 99 percent confidence level, management may 
recommend remedial actions to the Model Risk Governance Committee 
(``MRGC''), and to the extent necessary the Management Risk Committee 
(``MRC''), such as increasing the look-back period and/or applying an 
appropriate historical stressed period to the Margin Proxy 
calibration.\10\ By replacing specific references to the look-back 
periods in the QRM Methodology Documents with general language, FICC 
would be acting within its existing discretion and would no longer need 
to submit subsequent rule filings to change these look-back periods 
unless such changes require an advance notice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Supra note 4.
    \10\ See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 82588 (January 26, 
2018) 83 FR 4687, 4692 (February 1, 2018) (SR-FICC-2018-001) 
(``Notice of GSD Rule Filing''); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 
79491 (December 7, 2016) 81 FR 90001, 90005 (December 13, 2016) (SR-
FICC-2016-007) (``Notice of MBSD Rule Filing''); and MBSD Approval 
Order, supra note 5, at 8782-8783.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the proposal, the QRM Methodology Documents would provide 
that the look-back periods for the Margin Proxy and the two GSD Haircut 
Rates would be tracked in a monthly parameter report. The QRM 
Methodology Documents would also provide that these look-back periods 
shall not be less than one year. Finally, the QRM Methodology Documents 
would state that any changes to these look-back periods would be 
subject to the governance process set forth in the Clearing Agency 
Model Risk Management Framework (the ``Framework).\11\ The Framework 
provides that the Model Validation and Control Group (``MVC'') prepares 
Model performance monitoring reports on both a monthly and daily basis. 
On a monthly basis, MVC (i) performs sensitivity analysis on each of 
FICC's Models,\12\ (ii) reviews key parameters and assumptions for 
backtesting, and (iii) considers modifications to ensure that the 
backtesting practices of FICC are appropriate for determining the 
adequacy of its applicable margin resources.\13\ The Framework states 
that MRGC will review the Model performance monitoring, which includes 
review of risk-based Models used to calculate margin requirements and 
relevant parameters/threshold indicators, sensitivity analysis, and 
Model backtesting results. Serious performance concerns will be 
escalated to the MRC.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Securities Exchange Act Release No. 81485 (August 25, 2017) 
82 FR 41433 (August 31, 2017) (SR-DTC-2017-008; SR-FICC-2017-014; 
SR-NSCC-2017-008) (``Framework Approval Order''). In general, the 
Framework describes the model risk management practices adopted by 
FICC, National Securities Clearing Corporation and The Depository 
Trust Company. The Framework is designed to help identify, measure, 
monitor, and manage the risks associated with the design, 
development, implementation, use, and validation of quantitative 
models. The Framework describes (i) governance of the Framework; 
(ii) key terms; (iii) model inventory procedures; (iv) model 
validation procedures; (v) model approval process; and (vi) model 
performance procedures. Id.
    \12\ The term ``Model'' refers to a quantitative method, system, 
or approach that applies statistical, economic, financial, or 
mathematical theories, techniques, and assumptions to process input 
data into quantitative estimates. Id.
    \13\ Id. at 41435.
    \14\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) Clarifications, Corrections, and Technical Changes to the GSD QRM 
Methodology Document, and a Clarification and Technical Changes to the 
MBSD QRM Methodology Document
    FICC is proposing to make certain clarifications, corrections, and 
technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document, and a 
clarification and certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM Methodology 
Document, as described in detail below.

[[Page 16923]]

(1) GSD QRM Methodology Document
a. Clarifications
    FICC would make certain clarifications to the GSD QRM Methodology 
Document, as described below.
    In the section of the GSD QRM Methodology Document that describes 
key parameters (where the look-back periods are currently listed), FICC 
proposes to rearrange the list so that the look-back periods associated 
with sensitivity VaR are grouped together and the look-back periods for 
GSD Haircut Rates are grouped together. FICC also proposes to add sub-
headings to enhance readability and clarity.
    In addition, in the section of the GSD QRM Methodology Document 
that describes key parameters, FICC would amend the language describing 
the GSD Haircut Rates to correspond to the language used in later 
sections for clarity and consistency.
    Where the GSD QRM Methodology Document references the governance 
practice regarding the review and recalibration of the look-back 
periods, FICC also proposes to specifically reference the Framework. 
FICC would provide additional clarity by adding language describing 
types of data that would be used to determine key model parameters.\15\ 
FICC would also clarify the GSD QRM Methodology Document by adding 
language stating that management may implement any approved changes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Supra note 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to the descriptions of some of the GSD Haircut Rates, 
FICC would (i) add clarifying terminology and (ii) delete duplicative 
explanations and replace them with a cross-reference to the appendix, 
which contains the same explanation.
b. Corrections
    FICC also proposes to make certain corrections to the GSD QRM 
Methodology Document. FICC would correct a typographical error in the 
description of key parameters by revising a reference from MBSD to MBS. 
In addition, to correct an omission in the GSD QRM Methodology 
Document, FICC would add that if FICC observes material differences 
between the Margin Proxy calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund 
requirement calculated using the VaR model, management may recommend 
remedial actions (as was stated in the GSD sensitivity VaR rule 
filing).\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ See Notice of GSD Rule Filing, supra note 10, at 4692.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

c. Technical Changes
    Finally, FICC proposes to make certain technical changes (e.g., 
word usage, spacing corrections, grammar changes, and revising certain 
references from singular to plural) to the GSD QRM Methodology 
Document. For example, for consistency, FICC proposes to revise a 
reference from ``window'' to ``period'' in the description of key 
parameters and all references from ``lookback'' to ``look-back'' and 
from ``TBA/pool'' to ``Pool-TBA.''
(2) MBSD QRM Methodology Document
a. Clarification
    FICC proposes to clarify the MBSD Methodology Document by adding 
language stating that management may implement any approved changes.
b. Technical Changes
    FICC proposes to make certain technical changes to the MBSD QRM 
Methodology Document (e.g., grammar changes and revising certain 
references from singular to plural). FICC would also revise a reference 
from ``lookback'' to ``look-back'' for consistency. In addition, FICC 
would remove the revision history because it is solely administrative 
and would not affect the calculation of margin or Clearing Members' 
substantive rights or obligations.
(C) Clarifications to the MBSD Rules
    FICC is also proposing to make certain clarifications to the MBSD 
Rules. Specifically, FICC would add a definition of ``Margin Proxy'' 
and use such term in the definition of ``VaR Charge.'' In addition, 
FICC would clarify the definition of ``VaR Charge'' in the MBSD Rules 
by adding the word ``Clearing'' before the word ``Members.''
2. Statutory Basis
    FICC believes that this proposal is consistent with the 
requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder 
applicable to a registered clearing agency. Specifically, FICC believes 
that the proposed changes to the QRM Methodology Documents and the MBSD 
Rules described above are consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the 
Act, for the reasons described below.\17\ FICC also believes that the 
proposed changes to the MBSD Rules are consistent with Rule 17Ad-
22(e)(23)(ii), as promulgated under the Act, for the reasons described 
below.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
    \18\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(23)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act requires, in part, that the rules 
of a clearing agency be designed ``to assure the safeguarding of 
securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the 
clearing agency or for which it is responsible.'' \19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC believes that amending the QRM Methodology Documents to remove 
specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to the look-
back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) the GSD 
Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language as described 
above would enhance clarity and consistency for FICC. Specifically, the 
proposed changes would ensure that the QRM Methodology Documents (which 
have been filed confidentially) are in line with the understanding of 
FICC's risk management group (``FICC Risk Management'') that, if FICC 
observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and 
the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the VaR model, 
or if the Margin Proxy's backtesting results do not meet FICC's 99 
percent confidence level, then, subject to its MRGC/MRC governance 
process described above, FICC may change the look-back periods for the 
GSD and MBSD Margin Proxy as long as the look-back periods are not less 
than one year. Similarly, if FICC observes that the asset class 
backtesting performance associated with the GSD Haircut Rates is not at 
the 99% confidence level, then, subject to its MRGC/MRC governance 
process described above, FICC may change the look-back periods for the 
GSD Haircut Rates as long as the look-back periods are not less than 
one year. FICC believes that enhancing clarity and consistency within 
FICC with respect to changes to the aforementioned look-back periods 
would help to ensure that FICC calculates and collects adequate margin 
from its Clearing Members and Netting Members and would thereby assure 
the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or 
control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent with Section 
17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC believes that the proposed changes, which constitute certain 
clarifications, corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM 
Methodology Document, and a clarification and certain technical changes 
to the MBSD QRM Methodology Document, would also enhance the clarity of 
the QRM Methodology Documents for FICC. As the QRM Methodology 
Documents are used by FICC Risk Management personnel regarding the 
calculation of

[[Page 16924]]

margin requirements, it is important for the accurate and smooth 
functioning of the margining process that FICC Risk Management 
understands when look-back periods can change and the governance 
process associated with them. The changes referenced in this paragraph 
would promote such understanding. This would, in turn, allow FICC Risk 
Management to charge an appropriate level of margin. As such, FICC 
believes that enhancing the clarity of the QRM Methodology Documents 
would assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the 
custody or control of FICC or for which it is responsible, consistent 
with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC believes the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the MBSD 
Rules would help ensure that the calculation of margin is clear and 
transparent to Clearing Members and FICC, and thereby, help ensure that 
FICC calculates and collects adequate margin from Clearing Members and 
that Clearing Members understand the relevant definition. As such, FICC 
believes that the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the MBSD Rules 
would also assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in 
the custody and control of FICC or for which it is responsible, 
consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rule 17Ad-22(e)(23)(ii) under the Act requires FICC to establish, 
implement, maintain and enforce written policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to provide sufficient information to enable 
participants to identify and evaluate the risks, fees, and other 
material costs they incur by participating in the covered clearing 
agency.\23\ FICC believes the proposed clarifications to Rule 1 of the 
MBSD Rules would help ensure that the calculation of margin is 
transparent and clear to Clearing Members, thereby enabling Clearing 
Members to better understand the calculation of margin as well as 
providing them with increased predictability and certainty regarding 
their obligations. As such, FICC believes that the proposed rule 
changes are consistent with Rule 17Ad-22(e)(23)(ii) under the Act.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22(e)(23)(ii).
    \24\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) Clearing Agency's Statement on Burden on Competition

    FICC believes that the proposed changes to amend the QRM 
Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations 
relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of 
GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more 
general language (as described above) could have an impact on 
competition. Specifically, FICC believes that the proposed change could 
burden competition because changes to the look-back periods could 
result in larger Required Fund Deposits amounts for some Members than 
the amount currently calculated.
    When the proposal results in a larger Required Fund Deposit for 
Members, the proposed changes could burden competition for Members that 
have lower operating margins or higher costs of capital compared to 
other Members. Whether such burden on competition would be significant 
would depend on each Member's financial status and the specific risks 
presented by each Member's portfolio. Regardless of whether the burden 
on competition would be significant, FICC believes that any burden on 
competition imposed by the proposed changes would be both necessary and 
appropriate in furtherance of FICC's efforts to mitigate risks and meet 
the requirements of the Act,\25\ as described in this filing and 
further below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(I).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC believes the above-described burden on competition that may be 
created by the proposed changes to amend the QRM Methodology Documents 
to remove specific references (and explanations relating thereto) to 
the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of GSD and MBSD and (2) 
GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more general language would be 
necessary in furtherance of the Act.\26\ As stated above, with respect 
to the Margin Proxy, the proposed change would address situations where 
FICC observes material differences between the Margin Proxy 
calculations and the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated 
using the VaR model, or where the Margin Proxy's backtesting results do 
not meet FICC's 99 percent confidence level. Similarly, with respect to 
the GSD Haircut Rates, the proposed changes would address situations 
where FICC observes that asset class backtesting performance is not at 
the 99% confidence level. Specifically, the proposed changes would help 
ensure that the QRM Methodology Documents (which have been filed 
confidentially) are in line with FICC Risk Management's understanding 
that, in those circumstances, FICC may change the look-back periods for 
the GSD and MBSD Margin Proxy and GSD Haircut Rates as long as the 
look-back periods are not less than one year. FICC believes that 
enhancing clarity and consistency within FICC with respect to changes 
to the aforementioned look-back periods would help to ensure that FICC 
calculates and collects adequate margin from its Clearing Members and 
Netting Members and would thereby assure the safeguarding of securities 
and funds which are in the custody or control of FICC or for which it 
is responsible, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Id.
    \27\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    FICC also believes that the above-described burden on competition 
that could be created by the proposed change to amend the QRM 
Methodology Documents to remove specific references (and explanations 
relating thereto) to the look-back periods for the (1) Margin Proxy of 
GSD and MBSD and (2) GSD Haircut Rates and replace them with more 
general language would be appropriate in furtherance of the Act.\28\ 
FICC believes these proposed changes would be appropriate in 
furtherance of the Act because they have been designed to assure the 
safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or 
control of FICC or for which it is responsible. The proposal achieves 
this purpose by providing for FICC to act in circumstances where the 
99% confidence level is not being met. Specifically, FICC would only 
change the look-back periods in certain circumstances (i.e., where FICC 
observes material differences between the Margin Proxy calculations and 
the aggregate Clearing Fund requirement calculated using the 
sensitivity VaR model, or where the Margin Proxy's backtesting results 
do not meet FICC's 99 percent confidence level), and/or where FICC 
observes that the asset class backtesting performance is not at the 99% 
confidence level. Furthermore, FICC believes these proposed changes are 
appropriate because they would be consistent with the discretion 
(subject to FICC's governance) that FICC has to make changes to the 
look-back periods consistent with the GSD and MBSD sensitivity VaR 
filings and GSD QRM Methodology Document.\29\ As such, FICC believes 
these proposed changes would help to ensure that FICC calculates and 
collects adequate margin from its Clearing Members and Netting Members, 
and therefore, are designed to assure the safeguarding of securities 
and funds, consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) the Act.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(I).
    \29\ Supra notes 4, 5, and 10.
    \30\ 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 16925]]

    In addition, FICC does not believe the proposed clarifications, 
corrections, and technical changes to the GSD QRM Methodology Document 
and the proposed clarification and technical changes to the MBSD QRM 
Methodology Document described above would have any impact on 
competition because these proposed changes would enhance the clarity 
and accuracy of the QRM Methodology Documents and would not affect the 
substantive rights of Netting Members and Clearing Members.
    FICC also does not believe that the proposed clarifications to the 
MBSD Rules would have any impact on competition because these proposed 
changes would enhance the clarity and accuracy of the MBSD Rules and 
would not affect the substantive rights of Clearing Members.

(C) Clearing Agency's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change 
Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    FICC has not received or solicited any written comments relating to 
this proposal. FICC will notify the Commission of any written comments 
received by FICC.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change, and Timing for 
Commission Action

    Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the 
Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the 
Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be 
appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to 
which the self-regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:
    (A) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or
    (B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule 
change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and 
arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule 
change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of 
the following methods:

Electronic Comments

     Use the Commission's internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
     Send an email to [email protected]. Please include 
File Number SR-FICC-2019-001 on the subject line.

Paper Comments

     Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities 
and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FICC-2019-001. This file 
number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help 
the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, 
please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on 
the Commission's internet website (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). 
Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written 
statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with 
the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed 
rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those 
that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions 
of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for website viewing and printing in 
the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 
20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 
3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection 
and copying at the principal office of FICC and on DTCC's website 
(http://dtcc.com/legal/sec-rule-filings.aspx). All comments received 
will be posted without change. Persons submitting comments are 
cautioned that we do not redact or edit personal identifying 
information from comment submissions. You should submit only 
information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions 
should refer to File Number SR-FICC-2019-001 and should be submitted on 
or before May 14, 2019.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, 
pursuant to delegated authority.\31\
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    \31\ 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).
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Jill M. Peterson,
Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-08099 Filed 4-22-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8011-01-P