CFTC Looks to Address Swap Report Data Issues Affecting Swap Transparency

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is beginning to make changes to fix swap report data issues that have made it difficult to facilitate market transparency.

The CFTC will be putting together a group to review its swap report data collection process, as well as ensure that banks and other financial institutions are reporting and keeping records that are on par with the rules the Commission has put in place.

This probe into swap report data issues has been sparked by an error in reporting from the CFTC that caused the commission to miscalculate the overall size the of derivatives market.

Commissioner O’Malia has mentioned that reporting issues are widespread throughout the CFTC, and that they are hindering the Commission’s ability to oversee the market.

It may be some time before these swap report data issues are actually fixed however, as the CFTC is currently extremely underfunded. As of right now, there are only two employees in charge of rounding up all of the swaps report data, and it takes them twelve days to have the data ready to publish. This is four times longer than other reports the CFTC publishes.

Among the problems being considered in the probe, the CFTC will look into whether or not the agency needs new rules, technology, or personnel with more data analysis expertise.

Acting chairman Mark Wetjen has instructed staff to have formal recommendations prepared by June.