Three Wall Street trade groups sued the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday to stop tough overseas trading guidelines that they fear could hurt markets and reduce their profits.
The groups accused the CFTC in their lawsuit of circumventing a more rigorous rulemaking process by issuing its cross-border regulations as "guidance.''
Had the CFTC conducted a formal rulemaking, federal law would have required the agency to carry out a cost-benefit analysis to study the economic impacts of the rule and its costs to the industry, they said.
The groups that filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia are the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and the Institute of International Bankers (IIB).
"The cross-border rule further creates significant financial, legal and administrative burdens on market participants that could harm liquidity and the ability of end-users to manage their risks,'' the groups said in a statement.
They also said they filed the lawsuit to stop the CFTC from what they described as an "unceasing effort'' to regulate the global swaps market through unpredictable advisory documents instead of formal rules.