Wall Street regulator adopts new rules for swap trading facilities

(Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday adopted new rules governing security-based swap trading platforms, implementing a law adopted by Congress after the global financial crisis of 2007-2009.

The new rules will also be harmonized with those currently used by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, an independent agency which regulates derivatives trading.

SEC officials told reporters they expected a total of about five entities to register under the new rules.

THE TAKE

The new rules highlight how regulators, more than a decade after Congress adopted the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform legislation, are still trying to reform the swaps market that helped bring down Lehman Brothers and other banks.

CONTEXT:

*Swaps are a type of complex derivative that historically were traded privately between dealers, or “over the counter,” meaning the market had little transparency.

*Since the financial crisis, regulators have been trying to force such products, which globally have trillions of dollars of notional value, onto more transparent platforms to reduce risk.

KEY QUOTE

“Aligning the SEC’s regime closely with the CFTC’s garners many of the same benefits – bringing together buyers and sellers with transparent, pre-trade pricing. That lowers risk in the marketplace and protects investors,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a statement.

(Reporting by Douglas Gillison; editing by Michelle Price and Marguerita Choy)

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