Swaps Users Get Grace Period to Clear Trades

CFTC Chairman Gensler says idea was always to allow time before clearing requirement kicked in.

Swaps-market participants will have a grace period before trades are required to be cleared, settling confusion over a rule that will begin early next year, said Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler.

Firms dealing in $648 trillion of outstanding swaps contracts expected that trading during a phase-in period wouldn’t need to be processed by central clearinghouses, according to an Oct. 5 e-mail sent to clients by Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, which represents the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. While the firms were wrong, misreading one sentence in 17,000 words of regulation, Gensler said today the idea was always to allow a grace period.

Two Interpretations

Referring to the Davis Polk e-mail, Gensler said some market users were confused about how the final rule, passed by the CFTC on June 30, was written.

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