(Bloomberg) — U.S. regulators adopted rules that will require most swaps trades to be publicly reported, a response to lax derivatives oversight in the run-up to the credit crisis.
The rules approved yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission call for an interim period during which all swaps must be reported to public databases within 24 hours. Regulators said the requirements could change as they study how the reporting affects the cost and ability of banks and other firms to make large trades.
The regulations are the latest step in efforts by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to boost transparency in the swaps market, more than six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the government rescue of American International Group Inc., which was partly rooted in unregulated swaps.
By creating a record of swaps trades, regulators aim to monitor for systemic risk while giving investors a better idea of fair prices.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley control 95 percent of cash and derivatives trading for U.S. bank holding companies as of Sept. 30, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. While the CFTC oversees the bulk of the market, the SEC regulates swaps based on a single company’s bonds or loans, equities and indexes based on nine or fewer securities.
The CFTC has already approved rules that require dealers and other investors to provide information to the databases and the public.
Banks have lobbied for reporting delays for large trades, an issue the SEC said it would continue to study.
SEC Commissioners Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar, both Republicans, voted against the rules yesterday, citing an objection to the inclusion of heightened liability measures for employees of swap data repositories.
Congressional vote on Dodd-Frank
House Republicans made one of their first attempts in the new Congress to roll back Dodd-Frank constraints on Wall Street, in what has poised to become a recurring battle with Democrats who oppose changing the law.
Yesterday’s 271-154 vote on legislation to delay aspects of the Volcker Rule restriction on banks’ making risky investments followed a failed effort to advance the bill last week. The measure faces an uncertain path in the Senate, and President Barack Obama has indicated he will veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.
The bill, which includes measures that passed the House with bipartisan support last year, would give banks until July 2019 to sell certain securitized pools of commercial and corporate debt. House passage moves the measure to the Senate, which didn’t take up last year’s version while under Democratic control.
The Volcker Rule is a key provision of the law that bars banks from making trades with their own capital and restricts their investments in hedge funds and private-equity.