Margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives - final document

September 2013

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) released today the final framework for margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives.

Under these globally agreed standards, all financial firms and systemically important non-financial entities that engage in non-centrally cleared derivatives will have to exchange initial and variation margin commensurate with the counterparty risks arising from such transactions. The framework has been designed to reduce systemic risks related to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets, as well as to provide firms with appropriate incentives for central clearing while managing the overall liquidity impact of the requirements.

The final requirements have been developed taking into account feedback from two rounds of consultation, as well as a quantitative impact study that helped inform the policy deliberations. Compared with the near-final framework proposed earlier this year, the final set of requirements includes the following modifications:

A number of other features of the framework are also intended to manage the liquidity impact of the margin requirements on financial market participants. In particular, the requirements allow for the introduction of a universal initial margin threshold of €50 million below which a firm would have the option of not collecting initial margin. The framework also allows for a broad array of eligible collateral to satisfy initial margin requirements, thus further reducing the liquidity impact.

Finally, the framework published today envisages a gradual phase-in period to provide market participants with sufficient time to adjust to the requirements. The requirement to collect and post initial margin on non-centrally cleared trades will be phased in over a four-year period, beginning in December 2015 with the largest, most active and most systemically important derivatives market participants.