SEC to Propose Cross-Border Rules for Security Swaps

U.S. regulators intend to submit a proposal next week that will outline how new rules governing over-the-counter derivatives will affect cross-border transactions.

Reuters reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will vote on the plan Wednesday. In addition, the SEC is lengthening the period in which all other pending derivative proposals can accept comments, in order to see how they will fit with the new cross-border plan.

Wall Street will most likely want to compare this latest SEC proposal with the other cross-border draft that was created by the other major regulatory body, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Both the CFTC and the SEC were given the right to govern the over-the-counter derivatives market with the passing of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Specifically, the SEC was given the power to overlook swaps tied to securities, while the CFTC oversees everything else.

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler told Reuters, “he would be open to ‘substituted compliance,’ but only to a certain extent.”

The Dodd-Frank law mandates that both the SEC and the CFTC set capital and margin charges for riskier trades, as well as force a number of swaps to be traded on regulated platforms and centrally cleared, in order to reduce default risk.

The CFTC experienced some backlash last year when the regulatory body proposed that foreign banks should be subject to the same rules as U.S. banks. Foreign regulators have argued that the U.S. should let them use their own rules when the trades occur on their grounds.

Elisse Walter, SEC commissioner,  requested a compromise in which certain cases would require U.S. rules, while foreign rules would be applied to others.

According to Reuters, Walter said, “In my view, that happy medium has its foundation in an approach that recognizes comparable foreign regulation to the maximum extent possible, consistent with domestic policy goals.”

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