OTC Derivatives Regulations a

Initial margin OTC

Introduction

On 2 September 2013, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“BCBS”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) published their long-awaited final policy document dealing with “”.

Scope

Subject to certain exemptions discussed below, the final rules apply to financial firms and systemically important non-financial entities (“Covered Entities”) that enter into non-centrally cleared derivatives with each other. Non-systemically important non-financial entities are exempt, and whilst the precise definitions will be determined at a national level, it seems likely that this will include those classified as NFCs- under EMIR. As is normal, exemptions also exist for:

  • sovereigns;
  • central banks;
  • multilateral development banks; and
  • the Bank for International Settlements.

The collateralisation of intra-group transactions will “be subject to appropriate regulation in a manner consistent with each jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework”.

INITIAL MARGIN (“IM”)

The requirement to post IM applies to all types of non-centrally cleared derivatives transactions, with the exception of physically settled foreign exchange forwards and swaps. IM must be exchanged by both parties on a gross basis and then segregated. A maximum group-wide IM threshold of EUR 50 million (calculated by reference to all non-centrally cleared derivatives entered into by the consolidated group of which the relevant counterparty is a member) is permissible. Minimum transfer amounts of up to EUR 500, 000 are also allowed.

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