Credit Suisse Settles CFTC Charges for Wheat Futures Violations

Credit Suisse to pay penalties totaling $665,000 related to trading on CBOT.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today simultaneously filed and settled an order charging Credit Suisse International (CSI) with exceeding the CFTC all-months speculative position limits on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures contracts. Over several days during April and June 2009, the firm violated regulations, despite having been granted an increased hedge exemption by the U.S. watchdog.

The CFTC’s order also found that Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC submitted to the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement false or misleading information reflecting certain inflated swap positions and thus inflated hedge exemptions for CBOT wheat futures contracts for CSS-USA, CSI, and other affiliates on several days in April and June 2009.

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Despite having received an increased hedge exemption that increased its all-months position limit in CBOT wheat futures contracts, CSI still exceeded its increased all-months position limit during the dates specified.

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Further findings revealed that in March 2013, CSS-USA submitted to enforcement, through counsel, documents purporting to reflect, among other information, Credit Suisse’s futures position related to its credit migratory exemption for the relevant days in April and June 2009.

While the March 2013 submission purportedly reflected that Credit Suisse had larger credit migratory swap positions and thus larger hedge exemptions in April and June 2009 than had been previously reported to the CFTC, the submission in fact reflected inflated credit migratory swap positions and thus inflated hedge exemptions, making them materially false or misleading.

CSI has been ordered to pay a $525,000 penalty and to cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations. For the false statements charge, CSS-USA is required to pay an additional $140,000 civil monetary penalty and to cease and desist from further violations of the CEA, as charged.

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