CME Group Inc., one of the world’s most diverse forex derivatives and options marketplaces, requested the dismissal of multiple charges against the group by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) officials over the leakage of New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) client trading figures, via a Reuters report.
CME Group had previously filed court documents as recently as last Friday, reasoning that a 2013 CFTC lawsuit was invalid and incorrect. Citing the CFTC report, the US regulator charged CME Group’s Nymex branch and two of its former employees – William Byrnes and Christopher Curtin – with misconduct, including the illegal disclosure of private trading details from 2008 to 2010.
CFTC At Odds With CME Group Over Investigation Into Leaks
Back in December 2010, CME Group discovered that Byrnes had leaked confidential Nymex customer information to broker Ron Eibschutz in an illegal attempt to foster increased business. Consequently, this led to the launch of an internal investigation by CME Group into the propensity and severity of these leaks.
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Ultimately, the nature of this investigation served as the origin for the disagreement with the CFTC. “The CFTC suggests that Nymex could have or should have done more to discover its employees’ misconduct. Those allegations are simply gratuitous,” CME Group lobbied in the filing.
According to the CME Group filing, “This court should dismiss the CFTC’s novel attempt to hold Nymex liable for misconduct that was contrary to Nymex’s policies and Nymex’s interests.” Indeed, CME Group attests that the conduct was actually detrimental to Nymex and its operations.
CME Group Seen As a Model of Regulatory Compliance
The lawsuit against CME Group represents an interesting dilemma for both the group and the CFTC given that the exchange operator serves as an essential role in the oversight of US regulation. CME Group has been fully compliant with all arms of financial regulation, including a recent bid to meet EMIR standards starting in February.
As such, CME Group has opted to place a healthy degree of separation between itself and the two former Nymex employees. The filing to the CFTC stated that, “Byrnes and Curtin did not nourish the exchanges lifeblood. They poisoned it.”