The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC") appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments on the above-referenced proposal (“Proposal” or “Proposed Rules”) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”). The Proposal would amend certain filing requirements and required forms pursuant to the Exchange Act applicable to or used by, among others, registered clearing agencies and self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”).
OCC supports and appreciates the Commission’s efforts to reduce the burden on registrants by modernizing filing requirements and forms to make submission more streamlined and cost-effective. We commend the Commission for committing the time and resources to this rulemaking, which appropriately updates rules and forms to eliminate paper filing requirements, enhance the usability of data, and take advantage of contemporary communications technologies.
Three aspects of the Proposed Rules directly impact OCC: (i) changes to Exchange Act Rules 17ab2-1 and 24b-2 and to Form CA-1; (ii) amendments to Exchange Act Rule 19b-4 and the paper signature requirement in the instructions to Form 19b-4; and (iii) amendments to Rule 17a-22 (i-iii collectively, the “Relevant Proposed Rules”). While OCC is generally supportive of each of the Relevant Proposed Rules, certain aspects of the Proposal create potential ambiguity for registrants, contrary to the Commission’s broad goal of building on the “practical and efficient” electronic filing alternatives provided by the staff of the Commission (“Staff”) as a result of the COVID pandemic. Below, we address each of the relevant provisions and, where appropriate, suggest certain clarifications to be included in any final rule.