Margin Requirements for Non-centrally Cleared Derivatives - Updated

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have today published a second consultative paper which represents a near-final proposal on margin requirements for non-centrally-cleared derivatives.

The margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives are articulated through key principles addressing eight (8) main elements:

1. Appropriate margining practices should be in place with respect to all derivative transactions that are not cleared by CCPs.
2. All financial firms and systemically-important non-financial entities (“covered entities”) that engage in non-centrally cleared derivatives must exchange initial and variation margin as appropriate to the counterparty risks posed by such transactions.
3. The methodologies for calculating initial and variation margin that must serve as the baseline for margin that is collected from a counterparty should (i) be consistent across entities covered by the requirements and reflect the potential future exposure (initial margin) and current exposure (variation margin) associated with the portfolio of non-centrally cleared derivatives at issue and (ii) ensure that all counterparty risk exposures are covered fully with a high degree of confidence.
1. To ensure that assets collected as collateral for initial and variation margin purposes can be liquidated in a reasonable amount of time to generate proceeds that could sufficiently protect collecting entities covered by the requirements from losses on non-centrally cleared derivatives in the event of a counterparty default, these assets should be highly liquid and should, after accounting for an appropriate haircut, be able to hold their value in a time of financial stress.
2. Initial margin should be exchanged by both parties, without netting of amounts collected by each party (ie on a gross basis), and held in such a way as to ensure that (i) the margin collected is immediately available to the collecting party in the event of the counterparty’s default; and (ii) the collected margin must be subject to arrangements that fully protect the posting party in the event that the collecting party enters bankruptcy to the extent possible under applicable law.
3. Transactions between a firm and its affiliates should be subject to appropriate regulation in a manner consistent with each jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework.
4. Regulatory regimes should interact so as to result in sufficiently consistent and nonduplicative regulatory margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives across jurisdictions.
5. Margin requirements should be phased-in over an appropriate period of time to ensure that the transition costs associated with the new framework can be appropriately managed. Regulators should undertake a coordinated review of the margin standards once the requirements are in place and functioning to assess the overall efficacy of the standards and to ensure harmonisation across national jurisdictions as well as across related regulatory initiatives.

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