NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Tim Massad, chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, told TheStreet TV the futures industry is "healthy" right now and he aims to keep it that way.
He told TheStreet's Dan Freed at the CME Global Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla., that consolidation in the industry isn't solely due to his agency's regulations, and CFTC will continue looking for ways to reduce the burden on smaller futures firms.
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As an example, he cited a recent rule change that makes residual income, or the timing of when customers and clearing firms need to post collateral, more flexible. CFTC is also considering a record-keeping change to make things easier.
Massad isn't perturbed that CME Group (CME) has a big footprint in the futures market, saying that having one large institution increases liquidity and efficiency. All clearing houses and exchanges must "operate with integrity and transparency," and have "adequate financial and managerial resources so that they're strong and stable," he said.
But Massad was emphatic there won't room for rule breaking. He said he plans to have "very, very strong oversight of the big players in the market," such as swap dealers and large financial institutions. That oversight also extends to other market participants, such farmers and retailers, who are looking to hedge, he said.
Massad noted the nearly $1.5 billion in fines to five of largest banks in the world for attempting to manipulate the foreign exchange markets as proof wrongdoing won't be tolerated. Considering the coordinated efforts with the U.K. and Swiss authorities, those fines actually neared $4 billion, he said.