May 03, 2019

The ISDA Chief Scott O'Malia offered recommendations to ease the requirements of the initial margin standards for the non-systemically important counterparty relationships. He urges policymakers to adopt these recommendations with the aim to provide relief for counterparty relationships that do not exceed the certain initial margin exchange threshold.

As per the BIS-IOSCO announcement from March 2019, counterparty relationships that are above a specified derivatives notional threshold, but that fall below the EUR 50 million initial margin exchange threshold, are not obliged to meet documentation, custodial, or operational requirements. Based on ISDA research, roughly 1,100 counterparties with approximately 9,500 bilateral relationships will come into scope once the derivatives notional threshold falls from EUR 750 billion to EUR 8 billion in September 2020. The BCBS-IOSCO statement means many of these newly in-scope relationships—about 6,000—will not need to have new documentation or custodial accounts in place because their initial margin exposure is less than EUR 50 million. However, it is not yet clear whether or how the guidance will be implemented by national authorities. The BCBS-IOSCO statement also does not completely eliminate the compliance challenge for these smaller firms. These entities will still need to continually calculate and monitor threshold levels, implement initial margin calculation systems, identify in-scope transactions, and run regular initial margin calculations. This will create a significant ongoing burden for firms that do not pose any systemic risk and regulators should take the necessary steps to exclude these non-systemic firms from meeting the requirements entirely. 

ISDA supports the recommendation by CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo for U.S. regulators to unambiguously provide relief for counterparty relationships that do not exceed the USD 50 million initial margin exchange threshold under U.S. requirements. ISDA hopes that this approach will be adopted globally to ensure consistent application of the rules. By focusing on risk and readiness, there is a far better chance that those firms that will be required to exchange initial margin will be ready by the September 2020 compliance deadline. ISDA has three other recommendations for policymakers:

  • Physically settled foreign exchange swaps and forwards should be excluded from the EUR 8 billion compliance threshold calculation—a recommendation that is consistent with the risk-based approach.
  • Initial margin model governance requirements that exist in several non-U.S. jurisdictions for firms that use the ISDA Standard Initial Margin Model (ISDA SIMM) should be removed for non-dealer entities. ISDA has already established a governance and testing regime to back-test and validate ISDA SIMM assumptions and this is shared with global regulators on an annual basis. ISDA also shares data on ISDA SIMM performance with regulators every three months. Consequently, there is no further need to require non-dealer firms to establish a redundant and costly oversight regime.
  • Regulators need to provide the appropriate regulatory relief to all legacy swap transactions that might come into scope due to contractual changes brought about by either Brexit or benchmark reform. 

Finally, the ISDA Chief urges regulators to work now to align the rules with the key policy objective of mitigating systemic risk in advance of the phase-five deadline of September 2020, which  is only 16 months away.


Related Link: News Release

 

Keywords: International, Banking, Securities, OTC Derivatives, Initial Margin, Non-Centrally Cleared Derivatives, SIMM, Legacy Swaps, ISDA

Related Articles
News

US Agencies Adopt Rule to Exclude Community Banks from Volcker Rule

US Agencies (CFTC, FDIC, FED, OCC, and SEC) adopted a final rule to exclude community banks from the Volcker Rule, in line with amendments to certain sections of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection (EGRRCP) Act.

July 22, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

US Agencies Adopt Amendments to Simplify Regulatory Capital Rules

US Agencies (FDIC, FED, and OCC) adopted a final rule that reduces regulatory burden by simplifying several requirements in the regulatory capital rules for banks.

July 22, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

IA of Hong Kong Delegates Inspection and Investigation Powers to HKMA

HKMA and IA of Hong Kong jointly issued a statement announcing the delegation of the inspection and investigation powers of IA to HKMA, pursuant to the statutory regulatory regime for insurance intermediaries under the Insurance Ordinance.

July 19, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

FSB Extends Implementation Timeline for Policy Recommendations on SFTs

FSB announced adjustments to the implementation timelines for its recommendations on securities financing transactions (SFTs), specifically those related to the minimum haircut standards for non-centrally cleared SFTs.

July 19, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

EBA Single Rulebook Q&A: Third Update for July 2019

EBA published answers to six questions under the Single Rulebook question and answer (Q&A) tool this week.

July 19, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

EBA Report Assesses Regulatory Framework for Fintech Activities

EBA published the findings of its analysis on the regulatory framework applicable to fintech firms when accessing the market.

July 18, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

OSFI Revises Capital Requirements for Operational Risk for Banks

OSFI is revising its capital requirements for operational risk, in line with the final Basel III revisions published by BCBS in December 2017.

July 18, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

OSFI Consults on Revised Principles for Management of Liquidity Risk

OSFI proposed revisions to Guideline B-6 on the principles for the management of liquidity risk.

July 18, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

ESMA Guidance on Disclosures for Credit Rating Sustainability Issues

ESMA published the technical advice on sustainability considerations in the credit rating market, along with the final guidelines on disclosure requirements applicable to credit ratings.

July 18, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
News

FASB Issues Q&A on Estimation of Expected Credit Losses by Firms

FASB issued a second question-and-answer (Q&A) document that addresses more than a dozen frequently asked questions related to the Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-13 titled “Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.”

July 17, 2019 WebPage Regulatory News
RESULTS 1 - 10 OF 3482