Clearing OTC derivatives under EMIR — first CCP authorised

On 18 March 2014, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority approved NASDAQ OMX Clearing as a central counterparty (CCP). This is the first authorisation of a CCP granted by a national regulator under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and puts into motion the implementation timeline for introducing mandatory clearing of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in Europe.

As the financial industry is all too aware, mandatory clearing of OTC derivatives in Europe lacks a fixed implementation date. In July 2013, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) gave a start date of 15 June 2014, while in September 2013 the Financial Stability Board (FSB) suggested a start date of the third quarter of 2014.

However, we consider that there is a minimum nine-month period between the approval of the first CCP by a national regulator and the entry into force of any mandatory clearing obligation. Even though NASDAQ OMX Clearing has now been approved, the earliest start date is December 2014 (and even this requires unlikely procedural assumptions)…

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