U.S. banks and other financial firms won a three-month delay foras much as half of the interest-rate swap market to meet a federalrequirement to trade on platforms designed to increase competitionand transparency.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announcedin a letter released yesterday that trades consisting of multiplecomponents won't need to be transacted on swap-executionfacilities, or SEFs, until May 15. The agency said it hadn't ruledout further extending the new deadline in the Dodd-Frank Act requirement originally set to start Feb. 15.

The delay, which estimates have shown will affect between aquarter and half of of the interest-rate swaps market, “allows usmore time to figure out what to do,” with the packaged trades, MarkWetjen, acting chairman of the CFTC, said at a meeting inWashington. “It certainly doesn't foreclose additional action,” hesaid, adding that “we have some flexibility with that date.”

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