Incentives for Central Clearing – paper by BIS


The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has released an interesting research paper which looks at the incentives for various market participants to centrally clear bilateral OTC derivative trades.

Following the financial crisis, G20 leaders agreed that standardised over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives contracts were to be cleared through central counterparties (CCPs). A number of regulatory reforms have been introduced that affect the incentives for central clearing of these contracts. These reforms include requirements to exchange initial and variation margin for non-centrally cleared derivatives exposures, standards relating to the measurement of counterparty credit risk for derivatives contracts, and capital requirements for bank exposures to CCPs.

The paper found that:

Clearing member banks (ie those institutions that clear directly with CCPs) have incentives to clear centrally.

Whilst central clearing incentives for market participants that clear indirectly (ie that are not directly clearing members of a CCP but clear through an intermediary that is a clearing member of a CCP) are less obvious and could not be comprehensively analysed on the basis of the data received in the quantitative analysis.

However, given that clearing members account for the bulk of derivatives trading, the conclusion of the analysis – there are incentives for them to clear centrally – indicates that the G20 objective on OTC derivatives reforms has, for the most part, been achieved.

Continue reading

New investment banking models: ‘capital-lite’, ‘agency’ and ‘client-clearing’


Regulation is driving change in capital market structure, and as highlighted in the future of investment banking, banks continue to move towards a ‘capital-lite’ business model, as they seek to ‘optimise’ use of and return on capital.

The introduction of mandatory trading and clearing for standardised swaps (SEFs in US and OTF and MTFs in Europe) has resulted in higher capital charges for OTC bilateral trades, and reduced the appetite of banks to warehouse and hold inventory which is moving more banks towards a ‘capital lite’ model.

This is the backdrop to the announcement that JP Morgan the setting up a 150 strong fixed income agency execution desk called JP Morgan Execution Services (JPMES), to run alongside its principal trading operations.

At first sight, it looks as if JP Morgan is simply hedging its bets and backing both agency and principal business models. However,
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European Market Liquidity Conference – thoughts and comments


Last week I attended the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) 9th annual European Market Liquidity Conference.

As always with AFME, there had some thoughtful speakers and topical panel discussions, as well as providing good forum for networking opportunities (including providing for the conference iPad’s pre-loaded with delegate names allowing you to reach out to them and make contact).

This year’s agenda focused on the new emerging market structures

  • Liquidity in the new regulated market – the changing market structure
  • Keynote address -Verena Ross, Exec Dir, ESMA
  • Foreign Exchange:
    The renminbi and other Asian currencies
    Impact of regulation on development of the FX market place
  • Fixed Income:
    Development of exchange capabilities
    Liquidity issue, what liquidity issue?
  • Funding European economic growth: the obstacles and opportunities

Below are my notes and some comments from the sessions that I attended: Continue reading

What next after SEFs?


Just finished listing to an interesting webcast on Global OTC market reforms, and where next after the US and SEFs?

Celent analyst Anshuman Jaswal, gave overview of market, SEF volumes to date, and possible differences in regulatory treatment and approach in Europe and Asia.

Some key points form slide deck and a couple of slides below.

SEF and OTFs are critical components in evolution of the market from OTC non-standardised bilaterally cleared to standardised electronically traded and centrally cleared swaps.

SEF-OTF shift to standardised swaps

Celent slide on shift to standardised swaps

In terms of SEF volumes Continue reading

TradeWeb SEF is 3rd to submit MAT List


TradeWeb TW SEF joins Javelin and TrueEX  in submitting the list of swaps they wish to Make Available to Trade (MAT).

Last week, Javelin submitted a long list of MAT Swaps, whilst TrueEX submitted a list of actively trade benchmark swaps.

TradeWeb recognising market sensitivity, also goes for the benchmark listing for their MAT determination, stating that:

“It is in a unique position to observe and quantify market participants’ electronic trading behavior. Due to the breadth of institutions participating on our platforms and the metrics that we can capture from the activity on our platforms, we have been able to develop a very clear picture of the electronic execution of swaps, which allows us to quantify the trading experience of both liquidity takers and liquidity providers”. Continue reading

MAT request to CFTC


Last Friday, Javelin one of the 18 newly registered SEFs, become the first SEF to apply to the CFTC for determination of products to be Made Available to Trade.

This mean that the CFTC has up to 90 days to review the application, and make their determination. The application covers GBP, USD and EUR Interest Rate Swaps, and should it be approved, then these products would need to be traded on SEFs by all platforms.

In the 18 page application, Javelin notes that the CFTC recognizes that SEFs have:

“sufficient expertise and experience with respect to swaps trading to make an initial determination and to submit that determination to the Commission under the part 40 procedures.”

The Javelin application further states Continue reading

SEF volumes according to Kevin


Over at Kevinonthestreet, Kevin McPartland has a very good post on why SEFs volumes really don’t matter at this stage.

Some key points from his post are:

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