On March 4, 2020, the National Futures Association (“NFA”) issued an advisory notice to its members regarding the new coronavirus, COVID-19. The NFA stated that NFA and CFTC staff have been in regular contact regarding these and other developing issues, including the possible need for regulatory relief, and in the event that regulatory relief is necessary, NFA and CFTC staff intend to take a practical approach that will give its members appropriate flexibility in implementing contingency plans needed to conduct business.
The NFA encourages all of its members to review their business continuity plans (BCPs) to ensure that they are up to date (e.g., current listing of key employees and their contact information) and include appropriate measures to address the coronavirus situation and allow members to operate effectively during this time. The NFA further noted that members should also consider providing employees with additional or refresher training on topics related to operating from a remote location.
Finally, the NFA strongly encourages its members to ensure that their BCPs are updated and address pandemics. In particular, members should identify key relationships (e.g., clearing firms, telecommunications networks, third party providers, internal departments, mail or email services, utilities, etc.), assess the risks a pandemic poses to those relationships, and understand how a pandemic may materially impact their businesses.