Friday, March 28, 2008

Industry submits new OTC derivative operational goals to regulators

NEW YORK, Thursday, March 27, 2008: The Operations Management Group (OMG) today submitted to Timothy Geithner, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, its latest set of goals for strengthening operational efficiency across privately negotiated credit and equity derivatives products.

Consistent with ISDA’s primary purpose, to encourage the prudent and efficient development of the privately negotiated derivatives business via the continued standardization of documentation, promotion of sound risk management practices and education of the marketplace, ISDA endorses the commitments and expectations outlined by the industry in its latest letter. In support of these minimum operating standards, ISDA will work with market participants to achieve a more fully automated and scalable marketplace.

Further, ISDA and its membership have been discussing the incorporation of ISDA's off-the-shelf credit derivative settlement auction mechanism into ISDA documentation and ISDA has activated a process towards achieving that incorporation where appropriate (a process which has been commonly referred to as “hardwiring” into the ISDA documentation). ISDA has committed to review with supervisors in May 2008 the industry’s status on this matter and a timetable for next steps in the effort.

ISDA is pleased to be a part of the industry effort to improve operational efficiency,” said Robert Pickel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, ISDA. “In particular we look forward to working with our members and the broader industry as we proceed with the hardwiring of the auction mechanism into the ISDA documentation.”

ISDA has organized nine protocols and auctions for the settlement of credit derivative contracts. The most recent auction, the results of which were used to settle single name, index and bespoke portfolio trades, had the highest number of adherents of any auction to date.

The signatories to today's letter support ISDA’s efforts to strengthen credit event management across the industry and agree that they will actively participate in the process outlined above.

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