US financial regulators have raised the idea of extending investor safeguards proposed for certain derivatives to the futures markets as they probe missing customer funds at bankrupt broker MF Global.

Investors in cleared swaps -- a form of derivatives contract negotiated between two traders where the risk of one party defaulting is shifted to a clearing house -- are set to receive stronger protection than futures traders in a vote by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday.

But two commissioners on the five-member body are now questioning the fairness of that approach and are opening the debate as to whether the same rules should apply to both swaps and futures, a move likely to provoke a backlash from the industry.


Jill Sommers, the CFTC commissioner leading the investigation into the MF Global's missing funds, told the Financial Times she was concerned about having different rules for the two types of investor.

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