March 15, 2017 / 1:29 PM / 5 months ago

Trump's pick to lead U.S. CFTC unveils major new policy agenda

WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) - The top U.S. derivatives regulator laid out plans on Wednesday for a sweeping overhaul of the agency that will include everything from cutting regulation to restructuring the unit that conducts surveillance for market abuses. In a wide-ranging policy speech, Acting Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, who was nominated by President Donald Trump as permanent chairman late Tuesday, said it was time for the CFTC to "reinterpret its regulatory mission" by focusing on fostering economic growth, enhancing U.S. markets, and "right-sizing" its regulatory footprint.

In prepared remarks before the Futures Industry Association's annual conference in Boca Raton, Florida, he outlined plans to bolster how the CFTC polices the marketplace by restructuring its market surveillance branch and moving it into the agency's enforcement division. That unit, in charge of searching for manipulation and other abuses, is currently housed in the CFTC's Division of Market Oversight. Giancarlo said it would be relocated inside the agency's enforcement division to bolster how the CFTC polices the marketplace.

A new "chief market intelligence officer" position will also be created, he said, to help oversee a new branch that will be tasked with keeping pace with new trends and technology.

Giancarlo often has been highly critical of the way the CFTC has implemented rules stemming from the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.

In his speech, he pledged to fix what he called "flawed swaps trading rules" which he blamed for driving business away from the U.S.. He also said he hopes to work more effectively with international regulators while still looking out for American interests. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Linda Stern and Chizu Nomiyama)

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