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Initial margin non cleared derivatives

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released today the final framework for margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives.

Under these globally agreed standards, all financial firms and systemically important non-financial entities that engage in non-centrally cleared derivatives will have to exchange initial and variation margin commensurate with the counterparty risks arising from such transactions. The framework has been designed to reduce systemic risks related to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, as well as to provide firms with appropriate incentives for central clearing while managing the overall liquidity impact of the requirements.

The final requirements have been developed taking into account feedback from two rounds of consultation, as well as a quantitative impact study that helped inform the policy deliberations. Compared with the near-final framework proposed earlier this year, the final set of requirements includes the following modifications:

  • The framework exempts physically settled foreign exchange (FX) forwards and swaps from initial margin requirements. Variation margin on these derivatives should be exchanged in accordance with standards developed after considering the Basel Committee supervisory guidance for managing settlement risk in FX transactions.
  • The framework also exempts from initial margin requirements the fixed, physically settled FX transactions that are associated with the exchange of principal of cross-currency swaps. However, the variation margin requirements that are described in the framework apply to all components of cross-currency swaps.
  • "One-time" re-hypothecation of initial margin collateral is permitted subject to a number of strict conditions. This should help to mitigate the liquidity impact associated with the requirements.

A number of other features of the framework are also intended to manage the liquidity impact of the margin requirements on financial market participants. In particular, the requirements allow for the introduction of a universal initial margin threshold of €50 million below which a firm would have the option of not collecting initial margin. The framework also allows for a broad array of eligible collateral to satisfy initial margin requirements, thus further reducing the liquidity impact.

Finally, the framework published today envisages a gradual phase-in period to provide market participants with sufficient time to adjust to the requirements. The requirement to collect and post initial margin on non-centrally cleared trades will be phased in over a four-year period, beginning in December 2015 with the largest, most active and most systemically important derivatives market participants.

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Shipping by airmail from UK: items normally reach US addresses within a few days but can take longer THE STOCK EXCHANGE: The clearing House. London, antique print c1880
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  • Caption below print: The clearing house
  • Condition: Good; suitable for framing. However, please note: Verso text quite apparent in margin; The image shown may have been taken from a different example of...
  • Size: 14.0 x 14.0cm, 5.5 x 5.5 inches (Small)
  • Type & Age: Year printed c1880. Antique wood engraved print
  • Verso: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture which are likely to show through the page to some extent because the paper is quite...
Shipping by airmail from UK: items normally reach US addresses within a few days but can take longer LONDON: Clearing House, Lombard St, antique print, 1847
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  • Caption below print: The Clearing-House, in Lombard-Street
  • Condition: Good; suitable for framing. Please check the scan for any blemishes prior to making your purchase.
  • Size: 14.5 x 23.5cm, 5.75 x 9.25 inches (Medium)
  • Type & Age: Year printed 1847. Antique wood engraved print
  • Verso: There are images and/or text printed on the reverse side of the picture. In some cases this may be visible on the picture itself (please check the scan prior...
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