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Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cantor Settles CFTC Charges for Allowing Customer Funds to Become Under-Segregated

The CFTC and Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. settled charges for failing to maintain sufficient funds in its customer segregation account for a period of three days, for failing to provide the CFTC timely notice of its under-segregation, as required, and for related supervisory failures. The CFTC order imposes a $700,000 civil monetary penalty and a cease and desist order on Cantor, and requires Cantor to undertake certain improvements to its internal controls to prevent future under-segregation violations and notification failures.

Cantor, as a registered FCM, is required to segregate customer funds from its own funds and on a daily basis compute the amount of customer funds required to be segregated. The CFTC order finds that, on three consecutive days, January 24 to January 26, 2012 (the “relevant period”), Cantor failed to maintain adequate segregated customer funds due to an inadvertent transfer of $3 million from its customer segregated funds account, instead of from Cantor’s house account, as intended. According to the order, on each of the three days, Cantor made the daily required computation to determine the amount of customer funds it needed to be on deposit to meet its segregation requirements. However, Cantor failed to realize it was under-segregated until January 27, 2012, when the Cantor operations department employee primarily responsible for determining Cantor’s daily segregation requirements returned to work after being out unexpectedly. The Cantor operations department immediately corrected the segregation deficiency and the firm came back into compliance with its segregation requirements by transferring the $3 million back into the customer segregated funds account.

The order also finds that Cantor had related supervisory failures by not having an adequate system of internal controls and procedures to ensure that daily segregation calculations were reviewed and deficiencies noted, appropriately escalated, and addressed. Cantor also lacked sufficient procedures and training concerning the regulatory requirements relating to segregation of customer funds and failed to have adequate procedures and controls relating to the transfer of funds to and from customer segregated funds accounts.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/securities/2012/11/cantor-settles-cftc-charges-for-allowing-customer-funds-to-become-under-segregated.html

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