BCBS, CPMI and IOSCO survey clients and non-bank intermediaries on margin calls

Press release  | 
05 May 2021
  • Standard setters invite market participants to complete a voluntary survey on margin calls 
  • Survey is part of an examination into liquidity shortfalls during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic 
  • Results will feed into work programme to improve the resilience of non-bank financial intermediaries

International standard setters for banks, market infrastructures and securities markets have issued a survey on the use of margin calls as part of an examination into liquidity shortfalls during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic (March and April 2020).

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) (the Committees) are inviting clients (i.e., entities that participate in these markets through an intermediary) and non-bank intermediaries to complete a survey on a voluntary basis. Separately the Committees are collecting data from central counterparties (CCPs) and bank intermediaries.

In November 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a Holistic Review of the March Market Turmoilnoting that some market participants in the non-bank financial intermediation (NBFI) sector experienced a Covid-19 related liquidity shock in March 2020. The report also noted that increased volatility triggered margin calls, which contributed to a "dash for cash".

As part of the work programme to enhance the resilience of the NBFI sector, the G20 agreed that the FSB should coordinate with the Committees to look at issues around margin calls during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, an ad-hoc group comprising representatives of the Committees´ members would carry out a data-driven analysis of cleared and uncleared margin in that period and make policy recommendations, as appropriate. The results of this work will be incorporated in the overall FSB NBFI work, with a report delivered to the G20 by the FSB. 

This margin work includes both initial and variation margins in derivatives and securities markets and covers:

  • Margin in cleared and uncleared markets during the March 2020 market turmoil, including clearing member-client dynamics;
  • Margin practice transparency, predictability and volatility during the March market turmoil across various markets, jurisdictions and margining models; and
  • Liquidity management preparedness of market participants (especially non-banks) to meet margin calls.

As part of this data-driven review of margining practices, the Committees are collecting information from CCPs, bank intermediaries, non-bank intermediaries and clients. The first two surveys are being carried out through supervisory contacts. 

The Committees invite non-bank intermediaries and clients to complete a voluntary survey by 17 May 2021. This is an opportunity for market participants to feed their perspective into any future policy recommendations. Individual responses will remain confidential and will be used only in anonymised and/or aggregated format in future publications. Respondents may respond to all or part of the questions. 

The Committees will also be holding an information session on 6 May 2021 to provide additional context to the surveys and respond to questions of market participants.