Top US and EU regulators have indicated in the last week a shared desire to agree on a framework for the trans-Atlantic supervision of clearinghouses. The impetus for the current round of discussions is the upcoming deadline of December 15, 2014, which is the date on which new European capital requirements threaten to impose significant capital charges on EU banks with subsidiaries that are clearing members of non-EU clearinghouses that have not been recognized as equivalent under the European Market Infrastructure Directive (EMIR). The European Commission (EC) has already extended the deadline for the imposition of the new capital rules from June 15, 2014 in order to provide sufficient time to reach an agreement.On September 12, Michel Barnier, the member of the EC responsible for financial services, noted in a speech to the Eurofi Financial Forum that he is in “daily discussions” with Timothy Massad, the new chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Barnier indicated his intention to “find practical solutions,” but also warned that “it takes two to tango” and that “the American side must also deliver.” In his opening statement to the September 17 public meeting of the CFTC, Chairman Massad responded by noting that he is “firmly committed” to working with the EC and stated that “it is very important that [the EC] recognize our exchanges and clearinghouses” in order to prevent any interruption in the trans-atlantic derivatives markets. In particular, Chairman Massad noted with approval the existing system of “dual registration” of clearinghouses, where a single entity is simultaneously subject to registration and regulation by both the US and European authorities. It is within the context of dual registration, according to Massad, that the requirements relating to effective recognition of US clearinghouses under EMIR will be addressed. Both Barnier and Massad suggested that a deal could be struck within a matter of weeks.
Commissioner Barnier’s speech can be found here. Chairman Massad’s statement can be found here.