Back in January, it looked very much like long-awaited rules on swap execution facilities (Sefs) – new derivatives trading venues conceived by the Dodd-Frank Act – would be released imminently. Speaking at an industry event in New York, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner Scott O’Malia told delegates a vote on the rules would take place within weeks. “That’s right in time for Valentine’s Day, and nothing says ‘Valentine, I care’ like a Sef final rule-making,” O’Malia said.

Nearly five months on from that speech, there’s still no sign of the Sef rules – and O’Malia has learned to keep quiet about when he thinks the rules will be finalised. “I’ve had to quit throwing out dates,” he tells Custody Risk. “I gave a speech in January, thinking we would have a mid-February rule completed. Since then, negotiations have absolutely cratered and we’re not making any progress whatsoever.”

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