central counterparties

While working out the possible impact of the SEC’s proposal to require central clearing of triparty repurchase agreements, we realized that we short-changed the analysis of multilateral netting in our last post. Our explanation of the SEC’s example focused on just the cash side of the trades, which is to say the amounts to be paid. To appreciate multilateral netting fully, we need to consider the security side of the trades, what is to be delivered, as well. This post seeks to rectify our oversight.

Our previous post explained the SEC’s proposal (the Proposal) to require central clearing of all “eligible secondary market transactions” with a participant in the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC). In this post we review the benefits of central clearing cited by the SEC to justify its Proposal. We also discuss “hybrid clearing” and “multilateral netting.”

On September 14, 2022, the SEC proposed amendments (the Proposal) to regulations for clearing agencies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the Exchange Act). The Proposal would increase the central clearing of U.S. Treasury securities, to be defined as “any security issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.” According to the SEC’s press release, “the proposal would require that clearing agencies in the U.S. Treasury market adopt policies and procedures designed to require their members to submit for clearing certain specified secondary market transactions.”

On April 9, 2020, the SEC adopted a final rule (“Final Rule”) that will amend rules for securities clearing agencies to subject all SEC-registered central counterparties (“CCPs”) and central securities depositories (“CSDs”) to enhanced standards. The adopted rules will become effective sixty days after publication in the Federal Register. (As of the date of this post, the Final Rule had not been published).

In a press release, Brett Redfearn, Director of the Division of Trading and Markets stated “[t]hese amendments both enhance and clarify the definition of a covered clearing agency, which is an important step in the regulation of the U.S. financial system’s critical market infrastructure.”