National Futures Association (NFA) is the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry, including on-exchange traded futures, retail off-exchange foreign currency (forex) and OTC derivatives (swaps). For more than 30 years, NFA has developed and enforced rules, provided programs and offered services that safeguard market integrity, protect investors and help our Members meet their regulatory responsibilities.
Investor confidence is crucial to the success of the derivatives markets, and the best way to gain investor confidence is to demand the highest levels of integrity of all market participants and intermediaries.
Membership in NFA is mandatory, assuring that everyone conducting business with the public on U.S. futures exchanges and in the retail forex marketplace must adhere to the same high standards of professional conduct. NFA membership also is mandatory for swap dealers and major swap participants. NFA's membership currently numbers approximately 4,100 firms and 57,000 associates.
NFA is a non-profit, independent regulatory organization. NFA does not operate any markets and is not a trade association. NFA operates at no cost to the taxpayer—it is financed exclusively from membership dues and assessment fees.
NFA is headquartered in Chicago, IL, and also maintains an office in New York City.
In 1974 Congress established the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), a federal regulatory agency with jurisdiction over futures trading. The same legislation authorized the creation of "registered futures associations," giving the futures industry the opportunity to create a nationwide, self-regulatory organization. NFA began operations in 1982.
Congress passed legislation in 2000 and 2008 requiring firms acting as counterparties to retail forex transactions, as well as forex pool operators, trading advisors and introducing brokers to register with the CFTC and become Members of NFA.
Similarly, in 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which gave the CFTC rulemaking authority and oversight over swaps, swap dealers and major swap participants. Subsequently, the CFTC passed regulations requiring swap dealers and major swap participants to register with the CFTC and become Members of NFA.
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