[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 176 (Tuesday, September 11, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 55903-55966]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21414]



[[Page 55903]]

Vol. 77

Tuesday,

No. 176

September 11, 2012

Part II





Commodity Futures Trading Commission





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17 CFR Part 23





Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, and Swap 
Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap Dealers and 
Major Swap Participants; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 176 / Tuesday, September 11, 2012 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 55904]]


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COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION

17 CFR Part 23

RIN 3038-AC96


Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, 
and Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants

AGENCY: Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) 
is adopting regulations to implement certain provisions of Title VII of 
the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-
Frank Act). Section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act added a new section 4s(i) 
to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), which requires the Commission to 
prescribe standards for swap dealers (SDs) and major swap participants 
(MSPs) related to the timely and accurate confirmation, processing, 
netting, documentation, and valuation of swaps. These regulations set 
forth requirements for swap confirmation, portfolio reconciliation, 
portfolio compression, and swap trading relationship documentation for 
SDs and MSPs.

DATES: The rules will become effective November 13, 2012. Specific 
compliance dates are discussed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Frank N. Fisanich, Chief Counsel, 202-
418-5949, cftc.gov">ffisanich@cftc.gov, Ward P. Griffin, Associate Chief Counsel, 
202-418-5425, cftc.gov">wgriffin@cftc.gov Division of Swap Dealer and 
Intermediary Oversight, and Hannah Ropp, Economist, 202-418-5228, 
cftc.gov">hropp@cftc.gov, Office of the Chief Economist, Commodity Futures 
Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20581.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Comments on the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking
    A. Regulatory Structure
    B. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation
    C. End User Exception Documentation
    D. Swap Confirmation
    E. Portfolio Reconciliation
    F. Portfolio Compression
III. Effective Dates and Compliance Dates
    A. Comments Regarding Compliance Dates
    B. Compliance Dates
IV. Cost Benefit Considerations
    A. Statutory Mandate to Consider the Costs and Benefits of the 
Commission's Action
    B. Background
    C. Swap Confirmation
    D. Portfolio Reconciliation
    E. Portfolio Compression
    F. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation
    G. Swap Valuation Methodologies
V. Related Matters
    A. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

I. Background

    The Commission is hereby adopting Sec.  23.500 through Sec.  23.505 
\1\ setting forth standards for the timely and accurate confirmation of 
swaps, requiring the reconciliation and compression of swap portfolios, 
and setting forth requirements for documenting the swap trading 
relationship between SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties. These 
regulations are being adopted by the Commission pursuant to the 
authority granted under sections 4s(h)(1)(D), 4s(h)(3)(D), 4s(i), and 
8a(5) of the CEA. Section 4s(i)(1) of the CEA, requires SDs and MSPs to 
``conform with such standards as may be prescribed by the Commission by 
rule or regulation that relate to timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps.'' 
Documentation of swaps is a critical component of the bilaterally-
traded, over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market, while confirmation, 
portfolio reconciliation, and portfolio compression have been 
recognized as important post-trade processing mechanisms for reducing 
risk and improving operational efficiency. Each of these processes has 
been the focus of significant domestic and international attention in 
recent years by both market participants and their regulators.
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    \1\ Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 
CFR Ch. 1.
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II. Comments on the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking

    The final rules adopted herein were proposed in three separate 
notices of proposed rulemaking.\2\ Each proposed rulemaking was subject 
to an initial 60-day public comment period and a re-opened comment 
period of 30 days.\3\ The Commission received a total of approximately 
62 comment letters directed specifically at the proposed rules.\4\ The 
Commission considered each of these comments in formulating the final 
regulations.\5\
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    \2\ See 75 FR 81519 (Dec. 28, 2010) (Confirmation, Portfolio 
Reconciliation, and Portfolio Compression Requirements for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants (Confirmation NPRM)); 76 FR 6715 
(Feb. 8, 2011) (Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements 
for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants (Documentation NPRM)); 
and 76 FR 6708 (Feb. 8, 2011) (Orderly Liquidation Termination 
Provision in Swap Trading Relationship Documentation for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants (Orderly Liquidation NPRM)).
    \3\ See 76 FR 25274 (May 4, 2011) (extending or re-opening 
comment periods for multiple Dodd-Frank proposed rulemakings).
    \4\ Comment files for each proposed rulemaking can be found on 
the Commission Web site, www.cftc.gov.
    \5\ The Commission also reviewed the proposed rule of the 
Securities and Exchange Commission concerning trade acknowledgement 
and verification of security-based swap transactions. See 76 FR 3859 
(Jan. 21, 2011).
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    The Chairman and Commissioners, as well as Commission staff, 
participated in numerous meetings with representatives of potential SDs 
and MSPs, trade associations, public interest groups, traders, and 
other interested parties. In addition, the Commission has consulted 
with other U.S. financial regulators including: (i) The Securities and 
Exchange Commission (SEC); (ii) the Board of Governors of the Federal 
Reserve System; (iii) the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; 
and (iv) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Staff from each of 
these agencies has had the opportunity to provide oral and/or written 
comments to this adopting release, and the final regulations 
incorporate elements of the comments provided.
    The Commission is mindful of the benefits of harmonizing its 
regulatory framework with that of its counterparts in foreign 
countries. The Commission has therefore monitored global advisory, 
legislative, and regulatory proposals, and has consulted with foreign 
regulators in developing the final regulations. Specifically, 
Commission staff has consulted with the European Securities and Markets 
Authority (ESMA), which has recently released a consultation paper for 
the regulation of OTC derivatives containing draft technical standards 
that are substantially similar to some of the rules adopted by the 
Commission in this release, as further noted below.\6\
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    \6\ See ESMA Consultation Paper 2012/379, Draft Technical 
Standards for the Regulation of OTC Derivatives, CCPs and Trade 
Repositories (June 25, 2012) (ESMA Draft Technical Standards).
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A. Regulatory Structure

    Several commenters raised general concerns with the legal authority 
for or structure of the proposed rules, or their possible effect on 
existing transactions.
1. Statutory Authority for the Proposed Rules
    The Working Group of Commercial Energy Firms (The Working Group)

[[Page 55905]]

commented that many of the specific provisions in the proposed rules 
are not required by section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act and that such 
provisions are not ``reasonably necessary'' to achieve the goals of the 
CEA. The Working Group believes that the Commission could meet its 
statutory mandate by publishing principle-based rules, rather than the 
detailed approach of the proposed rules. Dominion Resources, Inc. 
(Dominion) also asserted that the proposed rules would achieve a 
regulatory scope beyond what is required by section 4s(i) and may 
require end users to change their business practices. Dominion 
requested that the proposed rules be further tailored to ensure the 
effect of the rules is limited to SDs and MSPs.
    The Commission notes that section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act added a 
new section 4s(i) to the CEA that states that each registered SD and 
MSP shall conform with such standards as may be prescribed by the 
Commission by rule or regulation that relate to timely and accurate 
confirmation, processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all 
swaps. Section 4s(i) also states that the Commission shall adopt rules 
governing documentation standards for SDs and MSPs.
    Swaps and swap trading relationship documentation are contractual 
arrangements that necessarily involve more than a single party. The 
Commission believes that the statutory requirement that the Commission 
adopt rules governing documentation standards relating to confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps reflects 
the intent of Congress to have the Commission adopt rules that 
necessarily effect SDs, MSPs, and their swap counterparties. The 
Commission also believes the rules establish a set of documentation 
standards for prudent risk management for registered SDs and MSPs while 
minimizing the burdens on non-SDs and non-MSPs.
2. Application to Existing Swaps and Documentation
    In response to a request for comment in the Documentation NPRM 
asking how long SDs and MSPs should have to bring existing swap 
documentation into compliance with the proposed rules and whether a 
safe harbor should be provided for dormant trade documentation, the 
International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and the 
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), in a 
joint comment letter (ISDA & SIFMA), strongly urged the Commission to 
specify that only new transactions entered into after the effective 
date of the rules are subject to the rules' requirements, and that it 
is not mandatory to amend terms or agreements that apply to 
transactions entered into prior to such date. ISDA & SIFMA further 
argued that Commission rules relating to business conduct, the 
confirmation process, confidentiality and privacy, collateral 
segregation requirements, and margin and capital may all directly or 
indirectly require registrants to make amendments to existing 
relationship documentation, and that it would be extremely inefficient, 
time consuming and costly for registrants to engage in separate rounds 
of amendments with their trading counterparties for each set of Dodd-
Frank Act rulemakings. ISDA & SIFMA recommended that registrants be 
permitted to develop plans to update their agreements in an integrated 
manner for the full range of Dodd-Frank Act requirements, and 
implementation timelines should reflect the requirements of such an 
approach, keeping in mind that those requirements will not be known 
until the scope and terms of all of the relevant Commission regulations 
(and those of the SEC) are more clearly delineated.
    The Working Group and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) also 
urged the Commission to apply the rules to new swaps only, arguing that 
renegotiation of existing documentation would take significantly longer 
than six months; may be impossible in some cases; and is not a good use 
of limited resources of market participants that will already be taxed 
with the necessary changes mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act and the 
Commission's other rules. Likewise, the Coalition for Derivatives End-
Users urged the Commission to exempt trades entered into before the 
enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act from the requirements of the rules and 
the Managed Funds Association (MFA) strongly objected to the Commission 
applying any of these requirements to existing contracts. MFA argued 
that section 739(5) of the Dodd-Frank Act specifically provides that 
the Dodd-Frank Act shall not constitute a ``regulatory change, or 
similar event * * * that would permit a party to terminate, 
renegotiate, modify, amend, or supplement one or more transactions 
under the swap.'' MFA believes that imposing these requirements on 
existing agreements would clearly require that existing agreements be 
``renegotiated.''
    The Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) noted on the other hand that 
netting of pre-existing transactions with new transactions is critical 
to efficient hedging, and thus documentation for pre-existing swaps 
will need to be modified to maintain the benefits of netting.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission agrees with 
commenters that the rules should not apply retrospectively and will 
require compliance with the rules only with respect to swaps entered 
after the date on which compliance with the rules is required, as 
discussed below. With respect to the comment of the FHLBs, the 
Commission notes that the rules would not prohibit parties from 
arranging their documentation to maintain the benefits of netting 
between pre-existing swaps and swaps entered after the date compliance 
with the rules is required if they so choose. In addition, with regard 
to ISDA & SIFMA's argument that swap trading documentation would need 
to be amended when rules relating to segregation and margin are 
finalized, the Commission observes that those rules are likely to 
provide for additional time for documentation to be brought into 
compliance.
3. Legal Certainty
    With respect to the validity of transactions where the parties fail 
to comply with the rules, The Working Group argued that for the sake of 
legal certainty, a failure to comply with the proposed rules should not 
result in invalidation of swaps entered into under deficient swap 
trading relationship documentation. The Coalition of Physical Energy 
Companies (COPE) recommended that the Commission make clear that 
section 739 of the Dodd-Frank Act, regarding legal certainty, applies 
to the proposed regulations so that SD or MSP noncompliance with the 
rules will not otherwise affect the enforceability of a swap. MFA and 
the International Energy Credit Association (IECA) also believe that it 
is imperative that the Commission affirmatively clarify that defects in 
required regulatory documentation do not render a contract void or 
voidable by one of the parties or constitute a breach of the swap 
documentation. IECA added that a party should not have a private right 
of action with respect to documentation that does not comply with the 
rules. IECA further requested that the Commission add specific language 
to proposed Sec.  23.504. The FHLBs made the same argument as IECA, 
adding that the Commission can enforce the provisions through penalties 
for SDs and MSPs.
    Upon consideration of these comments, the Commission is clarifying 
that it is not the intent of the rules to provide swap counterparties 
with a

[[Page 55906]]

basis for voiding or rescinding a swap transaction based solely on the 
failure of the parties to document the swap transaction in compliance 
with the rules. However, the Commission believes it does not have the 
authority to immunize SDs or MSPs from private rights of action for 
conduct within the scope of section 22 of the CEA, i.e., for violations 
of the CEA. In the interest of legal certainty, to avoid disruptions in 
the swaps market, and to reduce compliance costs, the Commission has 
determined that it will, in the absence of fraud, consider an SD or MSP 
to be in compliance with the rules if it has complied in good faith 
with its policies and procedures reasonably designed to comply with the 
requirements of each rule.
4. Standing of the ISDA Agreements
    Several commenters requested that the Commission clarify the 
standing under the rules of the ISDA Master Agreement and Credit 
Support Annex (the ISDA Agreements), which are prevalent in the swaps 
market. Specifically, ISDA & SIFMA commented that the proposed rules 
could create uncertainty as to the level of documentation required 
because the proposed rules require that ``all terms'' governing the 
swap trading relationship be documented. ISDA & SIFMA thus requested 
that the Commission acknowledge the general adequacy of the ISDA 
Agreements for purposes of the rule to enhance legal certainty and 
market stability. Similarly, COPE argued that many end users have 
already negotiated existing documentation under the ISDA architecture 
and thus requested that the Commission make clear that: (1) ISDA 
Agreements or any substantially similar master agreements satisfy the 
documentation requirements of the final rules; (2) in accordance with 
the ISDA Agreements and applicable state law, swaps are binding when 
made orally; and (3) long-form confirmations that contain all requisite 
legal terms to establish a binding agreement also satisfy the 
requirements of the rules. IECA also recommended that the Commission 
expressly state that the ISDA Agreements satisfy the documentation 
requirements of the final rules or state how the ISDA Agreements are 
deficient to eliminate any confusion. Finally, the Coalition for 
Derivatives End-Users argued that, given that the ISDA Agreements are 
used by nearly all end users and that such documentation substantially 
complies with the proposed rules, the Commission should expressly state 
that the ISDA Agreements satisfy the documentation requirements of the 
rules.
    On the other hand, the Committee on the Investment of Employee 
Benefit Assets (CIEBA) anticipates that ISDA may initiate a uniform 
protocol to conform existing ISDA Agreements to the requirements of the 
rules. In this regard, CIEBA stated that ISDA protocols, which in the 
past have typically been developed by dealer-dominated ISDA committees, 
are not form documents that can be revised by the parties. Rather, 
CIEBA argues, end users may only adopt these protocols on a ``take it 
or leave it'' basis, which may not be in their best interests. 
Accordingly, CIEBA recommended that the Commission not, either 
explicitly or implicitly, require market participants to consent to 
ISDA protocols in order to comply with the Dodd-Frank Act or the 
Commission's regulations.
    The Commission notes that many comments received with respect to 
this and other rulemakings stated that swaps are privately negotiated 
bilateral contracts. Although the Commission recognizes that the ISDA 
Agreements in their pre-printed form as published by ISDA are capable 
of compliance with the rules, such agreements are subject to 
customization by counterparties. In addition, the Commission notes that 
while the pre-printed form of the ISDA Master Agreement is capable of 
addressing the requirements of proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(1), it is not 
possible to determine if the pre-printed form of the ISDA Credit 
Support Annex will comply with proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(3), because 
that section requires that the documentation include credit support 
arrangements that comply with the Commission's rules regarding initial 
and variation margin and custodial arrangements, which have been 
proposed but not yet finalized. Further, the Commission does not 
believe that the standard ISDA Agreements address the swap valuation 
requirements of Sec.  23.504(b)(4), the orderly liquidation termination 
provisions of Sec.  23.504(b)(5), or the clearing records required by 
Sec.  23.504(b)(6). Given the foregoing, the Commission declines to 
endorse the ISDA Agreements as meeting the requirements of the rules in 
all instances.
5. Identical Rules Applicable to SDs and MSPs
    The proposed regulations did not differentiate between SDs and 
MSPs, but, rather, applied identical rules to both types of entities. 
In this regard, BlackRock commented that MSPs are buy-side entities, 
yet many of the proposed documentation standards are designed to 
regulate dealing activity. BlackRock believes these requirements should 
not apply to MSPs because they are unnecessary and will cause both MSPs 
and the Commission to use resources inefficiently.
    The Commission is not modifying the regulations to differentiate 
between SDs and MSPs. The Commission observes that section 4s(i) of the 
CEA, as added by the Dodd-Frank Act, does not differentiate between SDs 
and MSPs. The Commission thus has determined that the intent of section 
4s(i) is to apply the same requirements to MSPs and SDs, and the 
Commission is taking the same approach in the final regulations.

B. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation--Sec.  23.504

    Section 4s(i)(1) requires swap dealers and major swap participants 
to ``conform with such standards as may be prescribed by the Commission 
by rule or regulation that relate to timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps.'' Under 
section 4s(i)(2), the Commission is required to adopt rules ``governing 
documentation standards for swap dealers and major swap participants.''
    OTC derivatives market participants typically have relied on the 
use of industry standard legal documentation, including master netting 
agreements, definitions, schedules, and confirmations, to document 
their swap trading relationships. This industry standard documentation, 
such as the widely used ISDA Master Agreement and related definitions, 
schedules, and confirmations specific to particular asset classes, 
offers a framework for documenting the transactions between 
counterparties for OTC derivatives products.\7\ The standard 
documentation is designed to set forth the legal, trading, and credit 
relationship between the parties and to facilitate netting of 
transactions in the event that parties have to close-out their position 
with one another or determine credit exposure for margin and collateral 
management. Notwithstanding the standardization of such documentation, 
some or all of the terms of the master agreement and other documents 
are subject to negotiation and modification.
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    \7\ The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) 
is a trade association for the OTC derivatives industry (http://www.isda.org).
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    To promote the ``timely and accurate * * * documentation * * * of 
all swaps'' under section 4s(i)(1) of the CEA, in the Documentation 
NPRM, the Commission proposed Sec.  23.504(a), which required that swap 
dealers and major swap participants establish,

[[Page 55907]]

maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to ensure that each swap dealer or major swap participant and 
its counterparties have agreed in writing to all of the terms governing 
their swap trading relationship and have executed all agreements 
required by proposed Sec.  23.504. The Commission received 
approximately 31 comment letters in response to the Documentation NPRM 
and considered each comment in formulating the final rules, as 
discussed below.
1. Application to Swaps Executed on a SEF or DCM, or Cleared by a DCO
    In response to a request for comment in the Documentation NPRM 
regarding whether proposed Sec.  23.504 should include a safe harbor 
for swaps entered into on, or subject to the rules of, a board of trade 
designated as a contract market, ISDA & SIFMA, as well as the American 
Benefits Counsel and the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit 
Assets (jointly, ABC & CIEBA), recommended that the Commission provide 
such a safe harbor for swaps executed on a swap execution facility 
(SEF) or designated contract market (DCM). ISDA & SIFMA commented that 
the safe harbor is especially needed for those transactions where the 
SD or MSP will not know the identity of its counterparty until just 
before or after execution. ISDA & SIFMA also urged the Commission to 
clarify that the term ``swap trading relationship documentation'' is 
used to describe only bilateral documentation between parties to 
uncleared swaps. MFA also recommended that the Commission clarify that 
exchange traded or cleared swaps, which will be subject to standard 
contract terms, are not subject to the documentation rules. The Working 
Group commented that the swap trading relationship requirement in Sec.  
23.504(a) includes a carve-out for swaps cleared with a DCO, but Sec.  
23.504(b)(6) includes express requirements for the swap trading 
relationship documentation with respect to cleared swaps. Given the 
apparent contradiction, The Working Group requested that the Commission 
clarify whether the other requirements of Sec.  23.504 apply to swaps 
that are intended to be cleared contemporaneously with execution or 
that are executed on a SEF or DCM.
    In response to The Working Group's comment expressing confusion 
about whether Sec.  23.504 applies to swaps that are cleared by a DCO 
and to ISDA & SIFMA's comment regarding applicability to cleared swaps, 
as well as the applicability to pre-existing swaps per the discussion 
above, the Commission is modifying Sec.  23.504 to clarify the overall 
applicability of the rule by adding a new paragraph (a)(1) as set forth 
in the regulatory text of this rule.
    This revision clarifies the circumstances under which the rule 
applies. The proviso in Sec.  23.504(a)(1)(ii) would achieve the rule's 
goal of avoiding differences between the terms of a swap as carried at 
the DCO level and at the clearing member level, which could compromise 
the benefits of clearing. Any such differences raise both customer 
protection and systemic risk concerns. From a customer protection 
standpoint, if the terms of the swap at the customer level differ from 
those at the clearing level, then the customer will not receive the 
full transparency and liquidity benefits of clearing, and legal and 
basis risk will be introduced into the customer position. Similarly, 
from a systemic perspective, any differences could diminish overall 
price discovery and liquidity and increase uncertainties and 
unnecessary costs into the insolvency resolution process. The cross 
reference to Sec.  39.12(b)(6) imports the specific requirements that 
had been included in proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(6)(v). See below for a 
more complete discussion of Sec.  23.504(b)(6).
    In response to the comment from ISDA & SIFMA, the Commission 
clarifies that swaps executed anonymously on a SEF or traded on a DCM 
prior to clearing by a DCO are not subject to the requirements of Sec.  
23.504. For those swaps that are not executed anonymously, the swap 
trading relationship documentation requirements of Sec.  23.504 would 
apply.
2. Viability of Long-Form Confirmations as Swap Trading Relationship 
Documentation--Sec.  23.504(a) & (b)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b) required that all terms governing the 
trading relationship between an SD or MSP and its counterparty be 
documented in writing. Proposed Sec.  23.504(a) required that SDs and 
MSPs establish policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure 
that the required swap trading relationship documentation be executed 
prior to or contemporaneously with entering into a swap transaction 
with any counterparty. The Commission notes the industry practice 
whereby counterparties enter into a ``long-form confirmation'' after 
execution of transaction, where the long-form confirmation contains 
both the terms of the transaction and many, if not all, terms usually 
documented in a master agreement until such time as a complete master 
agreement is negotiated and executed.
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) commented that 
the proposed rule may require master agreements between all 
counterparties even if a ``long-form'' confirmation would sufficiently 
address legal risks, creating a significant expense and burden for end 
users. Similarly, IECA commented that long form confirmations that 
incorporate the terms of a standard master agreement are useful for 
certain new transaction relationships. In this respect, IECA recommends 
that Sec.  23.504(b)(1) be modified to make clear that terms can be 
incorporated by reference.
    In response to these comments, the Commission has determined that 
so long as a ``long-form'' confirmation includes all terms of the 
trading relationship documented in writing prior to or 
contemporaneously with the assumption of risk arising from swap 
transactions, the ``long-form'' confirmation would comply with the 
rules. However, the Commission is not modifying the rule to permit 
execution of a long-form confirmation subsequent to the execution of a 
swap transaction, which the Commission believes results in some period, 
however short, in which the terms of the trading relationship between 
the parties are not in written form. In response to the comment of 
IECA, the rule does not prohibit incorporation of terms by reference. 
Thus, so long as the terms incorporated by reference are in written 
form, the documentation would be in compliance with the rule.
3. Confirmation Execution Timing and Swap Trading Relationship 
Documentation--Sec.  23.504(a) & (b)(2)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(2) states that swap trading relationship 
documentation includes transaction confirmations. Proposed Sec.  
23.504(a) requires swap trading relationship documentation to be 
executed prior to or contemporaneously with entering into any swap with 
a counterparty. However, proposed Sec.  23.501 provides for specific 
post-execution time periods for confirming swaps. This apparent 
contradiction was identified by a number of commenters.
    In order to reconcile the apparent contradiction, ISDA & SIFMA 
recommended that confirmations be excluded from swap trading 
relationship documentation and be treated solely in Sec.  23.501. MFA 
also recommended that confirmations be treated solely in Sec.  23.501, 
noting that if forced to choose between quick execution and the 
negotiation of all

[[Page 55908]]

terms, the proposed rule's timing requirements might substantially 
limit end users' ability to engage in proper risk management using 
tailored swaps. MFA also commented that unless modified, the rule might 
decrease the number of transactions in the markets, thereby decreasing 
liquidity and increasing volatility.
    IECA noted that many short term transactions are executed orally 
and often documented by recording, ending before a written confirmation 
can be completed. IECA also stated that if all confirmations must be in 
writing, the additional employee time cost for each market participant 
would be substantial and is not included in the annual cost analysis. 
The Working Group also commented that in some instances, it may take 
longer to negotiate a written confirmation for a swap or complete the 
necessary mid- and back-office processes than the planned duration of 
the swap at issue. IECA recommended that proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(2) be 
modified by adding at the end, ``which confirmations need not be in 
writing.''
    MetLife commented that the requirement to document ``all'' terms of 
a trading relationship is overly burdensome. MetLife believes the 
documentation subject to regulation should be clarified to mean two 
sets of documents: A master agreement, credit support arrangement and 
master confirmation agreement and second, transaction specific 
confirmations. The confirmations can include any trade specific terms 
including specific valuation methodologies or inputs not already 
contained in the master documentation. Differentiation would assist 
with clarity for policies and procedures and with the audit 
requirements.
    The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users and The Working Group 
commented that the rule may require pre-trade negotiation and 
disadvantage the party that is most sensitive to the timing of the swap 
in such negotiations. The Working Group believes such party may have to 
accept less than favorable terms in order to execute within its desired 
time frame, and that the rule would make it very difficult for parties 
to enter into short-term swaps. The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users 
point out that end-users often trade by auction and given the low 
probability of winning, SDs will not want to incur the expense of 
negotiating documents in advance. The Coalition for Derivatives End-
Users also point out that even where established relationships exist, 
newly formed affiliates may trade based on existing expectations, but 
without the documents fully executed.
    On the other hand, CIEBA commended the Commission for including all 
terms in swap trading relationship documentation. CIEBA believes this 
approach will minimize the potential for disputes over swap terms 
during the confirmation process caused by the introduction of new 
``standard'' terms after the swap is executed, which CIEBA stated is a 
frequent occurrence. CIEBA recommended that the Commission confirm in 
its final rules that the requirement that documentation ``shall include 
all terms governing the trading relationship between the swap dealer or 
major swap participant and its counterparty'' would require all terms 
to be in writing prior to or at the time of entering into the swap 
transaction, except for terms such as price, quantity and tenor, that 
are customarily agreed to contemporaneously with entering into a swap 
transaction. CIEBA recommended that the rule require these remaining 
terms to be documented in writing contemporaneously with entering into 
the swap transaction.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission has determined 
that proposed Sec.  23.504(a) should be clarified with respect to the 
inclusion of swap confirmations in swap trading relationship 
documentation. The Commission is therefore modifying the proposed rule 
to make clear that the timing of confirmations of swap transactions is 
subject to Sec.  23.501, and that swap trading relationship 
documentation other than confirmations of swap transactions is required 
to be executed prior to or contemporaneously with entering into any 
swap transaction.
    The Commission does not, however, agree with commenters suggesting 
that terms governing a swap or a trading relationship need not be in 
writing. The Commission recognizes that binding swap contracts may be 
created orally under applicable law and the rule does not affect 
parties' ability to enforce such contracts. However, an orderly swap 
market and the goal of reducing operational risk require that such oral 
contracts be appropriately documented as soon as possible. In response 
to the comments of CIEBA, the Commission believes the modifications to 
the confirmation time periods in Sec.  23.501 discussed below 
adequately address CIEBA's concerns. Given the foregoing, the 
Commission is modifying proposed Sec.  23.504(a) to read as set forth 
in the regulatory text of this rule
4. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Among Affiliates
    The proposed regulations did not include an exemption or different 
rules for documenting swap trading relationships between affiliates. 
Shell Energy North America (Shell) commented that an end user trading 
with an affiliated SD/MSP does not have valuation, trade, and 
documentation risks that nonaffiliated entities may have, that such 
transactions only allocate risk within the legal entity, and, 
accordingly, affiliate transactions should be exempted from the 
documentation rules.
    The Commission is not persuaded that the risk of undocumented (and 
therefore objectively indiscernible) terms governing swaps is obviated 
because the trading relationship is with an affiliate. The Commission 
has regulatory interests in knowing or being able to discover the full 
extent of a registered SD's or MSP's risk exposure, whether to external 
or affiliated counterparties, and is not modifying the rule in response 
to this comment. The Commission observes that to the extent certain 
risks are not present in affiliate trading relationships, the 
documentation of the terms related to such risks should be non-
controversial and easily accomplished. For example, because affiliates 
are generally under common control, the documentation of an agreement 
on valuation methodologies should not require extensive negotiation as 
it may between non-affiliated counterparties.
5. Use of ``Enforce'' in Proposed Sec.  23.504(a)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(a) required that each SD and MSP establish, 
maintain, and enforce policies and procedures designed to ensure that 
prior to or contemporaneously with entering into a swap transaction, it 
executes swap trading relationship documentation that complies with the 
rules.
    CEIBA questions what is intended by the requirement for SDs and 
MSPs to ``enforce policies and procedures'' in Sec.  23.504(a). CEIBA 
believes the use of the term ``enforce'' with respect to SDs' and MSPs' 
procedures is contrary to the Dodd-Frank Act, because it implies that 
such procedures have the force of law and can be imposed on 
counterparties absent mutual agreement. CIEBA recommended that the word 
``enforce'' should be deleted.
    Having considered this comment, the Commission is modifying the 
proposed rule by replacing the term ``enforce'' with the term 
``follow.'' The intent of the term ``enforce'' in the proposed rule was 
to require SDs and MSPs to in fact follow the policies and procedures 
established to meet the requirements of the proposed rule, rather than 
to enforce

[[Page 55909]]

its internal policies and procedures against third parties.
6. Payment Obligation Terms--Sec.  23.504(b)
    In the Documentation NPRM, the Commission asked whether the 
proposed rules should specifically delineate the types of payment 
obligation terms that must be included in the trading relationship 
documentation.
    CIEBA commented that the Commission need not dictate every term 
that must appear in swap trading relationship documentation, and that 
it is important to defined benefit plans to be able to negotiate 
payment obligation terms in their documentation.
    The Commission agrees with CIEBA on this issue and has not modified 
the rule to further define the types of payment obligation terms 
required to be specified in swap trading relationship documentation.
7. Additional Requirements for Events of Default and Termination Events
    In the Documentation NPRM, the Commission asked whether the 
requirement for agreement on events of default or termination events 
should be further defined, such as adding provisions related to cross 
default.
    The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users commented that the ISDA 
documentation sufficiently addresses these issues and that parties 
should be allowed to negotiate these terms bilaterally so the 
Commission need not further define such terms. CIEBA agreed that 
parties should be allowed to negotiate these terms bilaterally so the 
Commission need not further define such terms.
    The Commission agrees with the commenters on this point and has not 
modified the rule to further define the types of events of defaults and 
termination events required to be specified in swap trading 
relationship documentation.
8. Senior Management Approval of Documentation Policies and 
Procedures--Sec.  23.504(a)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(a) required SDs' and MSPs' documentation 
policies and procedures to be approved in writing by senior management 
of the SD or MSP.
    The Working Group raised a concern that this requirement will be 
used to the negotiating advantage by SDs and MSPs who will claim that 
the form of documentation had been approved for regulatory purposes and 
cannot be changed without a prohibitively lengthy internal approval 
process. In addition, The Working Group argued that rigid documentation 
standards that must be approved by senior management could severely 
limit the flexibility of SDs, ending the ability of end users to obtain 
customized swaps in a timely manner. The Working Group recommended that 
the Commission allow current practice to continue where trading 
managers can authorize deviations from standard trade documentation so 
long as such amendment does not violate the overarching policies and 
procedures set by internal management authorized by the governing body.
    MFA similarly commented that the senior management approval 
requirement, together with the cumulative effect of the proscriptive 
documentation rules, may lead to the institutionalization of the terms 
favored by SDs and MSPs. As a result, MFA is concerned that SDs and 
MSPs will compel their customers to accept unfavorable terms or forego 
time-sensitive market opportunities. Accordingly, MFA recommended that 
each party should be free to assess requisite approval levels for 
various kinds of swap activity based on its unique organizational 
structure.
    IECA commented that review by senior management is an unnecessary 
use of management time. Most SDs and MSPs have risk management policies 
that provide a framework for elevating issues through levels of 
management as applicable. By requiring senior management to review too 
many modifications, many that can be reviewed by lower levels with 
appropriate expertise, it is likely that senior management may actually 
miss the major issues that should get attention. Also, IECA argued that 
the chilling effect of the rule could stifle risk management efforts, 
innovation, and increase counterparty risk as review processes become 
too rigid in order to comply with regulatory requirements.
    The Commission is not modifying the rule based on these comments. 
The commenters' concerns are overly broad because the rule requires 
senior management of SDs and MSPs to approve the ``policies and 
procedures'' governing swap trading documentation practices, not to 
approve each agreement, transaction, or modifications thereto. The rule 
does not prohibit SDs and MSPs from establishing policies and 
procedures instituting a framework for elevating issues through a 
hierarchy of management as each sees fit, so long as such framework has 
been approved in writing by senior management.
9. Dispute Resolution Procedures--Sec.  23.504(b)(1)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(1) required SDs' and MSP's swap trading 
relationship documentation to include dispute resolution procedures. In 
the Documentation NPRM preamble, the Commission asked whether the 
proposed rules should include specific requirements for dispute 
resolution (such as time limits), and if so, what requirements are 
appropriate for all swaps.
    ISDA & SIFMA objected that the requirement that the parties agree 
to dispute resolution procedures is not authorized by the Dodd-Frank 
Act and that denying parties to a swap access to the judicial system is 
not a measure that should be taken lightly or without Congressional 
consideration. Similarly, IECA believes the proposed regulations for 
dispute resolution are too specific and could violate separation of 
powers under the Constitution.
    On the other hand, CIEBA responded that the rules should not 
include specific requirements, with the exception of requiring the 
availability of independent valuation agents that are agreed upon by 
the parties. CIEBA recommended that the Commission propose only a set 
of fair and even-handed principles for resolving disputes.
    In response to these comments, the Commission is modifying the 
proposed rule to delete the term ``procedures'' from the requirement 
that swap trading relationship documentation include ``terms addressing 
* * * dispute resolution procedures.'' The Commission notes that the 
rule as proposed was not intended to require SDs and MSPs to agree with 
their counterparties on specific procedures to be followed in the event 
of a dispute, but rather to require that dispute resolution be 
addressed in a manner agreeable to both parties, whether it be in the 
form of specific procedures or a general statement that disputes will 
be resolved in accordance with applicable law. The Commission believes 
that some form of agreement on the handling of disputes between SDs, 
MSPs, and their counterparties will be essential to ensuring the 
orderly operation of the swaps market.
10. Documentation of Credit Support Arrangements--Sec.  23.504(b)(3)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(3) required that the swap trading 
relationship documentation include certain specified details of the 
credit support arrangements of the parties.
    Better Markets recommended that the Commission revise the proposed 
rule to

[[Page 55910]]

require documentation of the terms under which credit may be extended 
to a counterparty by a registrant in the form of forbearance from 
funding of margin and the cost of such credit extension, arguing that 
such credit extension and the cost thereof, which is embedded in the 
price of a swap, seriously impairs the transparency of the market by 
concealing the true price of a swap divorced from the cost of credit.
    Michael Greenberger commented that leaving terms and rules 
regarding credit extension and transactional fees to subjective desires 
of market participants will be counterproductive. Mr. Greenberger 
supports the comment letter by Better Markets, Inc., which urges the 
Commission to propose definitive rules requiring documentation of 
credit extension and transactional fees.
    COPE asked the Commission to clarify that the rule requires trading 
documentation to include any applicable margin provisions and related 
haircuts, but does not require margining and haircuts unless agreed by 
the parties. IECA echoed the COPE comment, stating that the proposed 
rule is unclear whether parties can enter into a swap that requires no 
margin, as is contemplated in the Dodd Frank Act.
    CIEBA commented that proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(3) should be 
clarified by adding the words ``if any'' to the end of each of 
subsections (i) through (iv) to make clear that end users are not 
required to post initial margin or allow rehypothecation.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is of the view 
that the proposed rule was not intended to require margin or related 
terms where such are not required pursuant to other Commission 
regulations or the applicable regulations adopted by prudential 
regulators. The proposed rule was intended to require written 
documentation of any credit support arrangement, whether that be a 
guarantee, security agreement, a margining agreement, or other 
collateral arrangement, but only to require written documentation of 
margin terms if margin requirements are imposed by Commission 
regulations, the regulations of prudential regulators, or are otherwise 
agreed between SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties. Thus, in response 
to commenters' requests for clarification, the Commission is modifying 
the proposed rule as recommended by CIEBA by adding ``if any'' at the 
end of each of subsections (i) through (iv) of Sec.  23.504(b)(3). The 
Commission expects that other forms of credit support arrangements will 
be documented in accordance with the rule as well.
    However, the Commission is not revising the rule to enumerate the 
terms of any extension of credit that are required to be included in 
the documentation, as recommended by Better Markets. The Commission 
believes that the rule, as proposed and as adopted by this release, 
already requires documentation of initial and variation margin 
requirements, which necessarily will entail documentation of any 
extension of credit, i.e., the documentation will reflect whether 
margining is subject to any credit extension threshold. Thus, to the 
extent applicable, credit support arrangements must include, at a 
minimum, the maximum amount of credit to be extended, the method for 
determining how much credit has been extended, and any term of the 
facility and early call rights. During negotiations regarding credit 
support arrangements, counterparties would be well served to address 
issues related to the embedded cost of credit. The Commission also 
observes that transactional fees are required to be disclosed under 
Sec.  23.431 of the Business Conduct Standards for SDs and MSPs Dealing 
with Counterparties.\8\
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    \8\ See Subpart H of Part 23 of the Commission's Regulations, 
Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers and Major Swap 
Participants with Counterparties, 77 FR 9734, 9824 (Feb. 17, 2012). 
In addition, to the extent that any cost of credit may be embedded 
in the price of a swap, the Commission believes that the disclosure 
of the mid-market mark, which must be disclosed when an SD or MSP 
discloses the price of a swap, will facilitate greater transparency 
concerning the embedded cost of credit. Id. at 9765-66 (discussing 
new Sec.  23.431(a)(3)(i)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

11. Legal Enforceability of Netting and Collateral Arrangements--Sec.  
23.504
    The proposed regulations did not require SDs and MSPs to document 
the legal enforceability of netting and collateral arrangements in the 
swap trading relationship documentation.
    In this regard, Volvo Financial Services Europe (Volvo) recommended 
that the Commission adopt a rule that states clearly that credit 
support arrangements should include legal opinions (updated annually) 
verifying the perfection of security interests in collateral supporting 
net exposures. Volvo argued that lack of legal certainty contributed to 
losses in the 2008 financial crisis where counterparties discovered 
that un-perfected security interests resulted in the unenforceability 
of pledged collateral. Specifically, Volvo recommended that the 
Commission revise the proposed rules to require: (i) Mandatory 
collateralization, (ii) robust legal opinions (updated annually) on 
enforceability of collateral arrangements, (iii) zero risk weighting if 
robust legal opinions are obtained, and (iv) regular collateral audits 
by the Commission to ensure that market participants perform the 
perfection formalities of security interests.
    Although the Commission agrees with the commenter that SDs and MSPs 
should support their collateral arrangements with all necessary legal 
analysis, the Commission has not made any changes to the proposed rule 
based on this comment because the Commission believes (1) Volvo's 
concerns regarding margining of uncleared swaps are addressed in the 
Commission's proposed margin rules, or the prudential regulators' 
proposed margin rules, as applicable, and (2) Volvo's concerns 
regarding the legal enforceability of collateral arrangements is 
addressed in risk management rules adopted by the Commission in 
February, 2012.\9\
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    \9\ See 17 CFR 23.600(c)(4)(v)(A) requiring SDs and MSPs to 
establish policies and procedures to monitor and manage legal risk, 
including policies and procedures that take into account 
determinations that transactions and netting arrangements entered 
into have a sound legal basis. 77 FR 20128, 20206 (Apr. 3, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

12. Valuation Methodology Requirement--Sec.  23.504(b)(4)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(4) required that the swap trading 
relationship documentation of each SD and MSP with their counterparties 
include an agreement in writing on the methods, procedures, rules, and 
inputs for determining the value of each swap at any time from 
execution to the termination, maturity, or expiration of such swap.
a. Comments Received
    Twenty of the comment letters received by the Commission addressed 
the proposed valuation requirement in Sec.  23.504(b)(4). Many of those 
comments raised similar concerns about the proposal, as summarized 
thematically, below:
    The Working Group, ISDA & SIFMA, FSR, White & Case, Morgan Stanley, 
COPE, MFA, IECA, FHLBs, Hess Energy Trading Company, LLC (Hess), 
Riverside Risk Advisors LLC, and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 
commented that valuation disputes provide valuable information to both 
market participants and regulators about pricing dislocations and 
associated credit risks and a static, rigid valuation methodology 
necessarily produces values that become increasingly outdated over time 
and could impede

[[Page 55911]]

the transmission of this important risk information.
    The Working Group, ISDA & SIFMA, FSR, Markit, Freddie Mac, COPE, 
MFA, FHLBs, CIEBA, EEI, and the Coalition of Derivatives End Users 
commented that requiring agreement on valuation methodologies and set 
alternative methods will materially increase the pre-execution 
negotiating burden without an offsetting benefit and agreement on 
models for complex swaps would require negotiations that could take 
sophisticated professionals months to complete, if such could be 
completed at all.
    The Working Group, FSR, OCC, and Markit commented that it is 
impossible to state valuation methodologies with the required 
specificity without disclosing proprietary information about the 
parties' internal models.
    OCC and Hess commented that requiring agreement on valuation 
methodologies may discourage development of more refined, dynamic swap 
valuation models, which would lead to use of less sophisticated or 
vanilla models that are less accurate than their proprietary 
counterparts.
    ISDA & SIFMA and IECA commented that agreeing on a methodology that 
could survive the loss of any input to the valuation is wholly 
unworkable, will diminish standardization as parties negotiate bespoke 
approaches to valuation, and will undermine legal certainty if the 
valuation methodology is determined not to be adaptable to all 
circumstances.
    COPE, FHLBs, MFA, EEI, and Markit commented that there is no 
business need for swap-by-swap valuation formulas because valuation of 
exposures with counterparties is usually conducted on a portfolio basis 
and documented in a master agreement, and that agreement on swap-by-
swap valuation formulas also is likely to disrupt trading.
    Several commenters also recommended alternative approaches to the 
valuation requirement. The Working Group, Morgan Stanley, MFA, IECA, 
FHLBs, CIEBA, and MetLife suggested that the focus of the rule should 
be on the valuation dispute resolution process rather than valuation 
methodologies that include fallback alternatives and other static 
terms. MetLife specifically recommended that the Commission establish 
``mandatory dispute resolution guidelines'' that include a requirement 
for a third party arbiter after a set period of time.
    With respect to valuation methodologies, CIEBA and Chris Barnard 
recommended that the rule require SDs to value swaps on the basis of 
transparent models that can be replicated by their counterparty. The 
Working Group requested that the Commission clarify that parties are 
permitted to use different valuation methodologies under different 
circumstances (i.e., mid-market valuation for collateral purposes and 
replacement cost valuation for terminations). Markit and MFA requested 
that the Commission clarify that parties may rely on a more general set 
of inputs, models, and fallbacks for valuation purposes, rather than 
the exhaustive fallbacks required by the rule. White & Case and IECA 
recommended that the Commission permit parties to change the valuation 
method and inputs as the market changes over time. Freddie Mac 
suggested that the rule should provide that the valuation methodology 
requirement can be satisfied by executing industry standard 
documentation that provides for a commercially reasonable valuation 
methodology. The Coalition of Derivatives End Users, IECA, and Chris 
Barnard recommended that proprietary inputs be allowed under the rule.
    More generally, FSR recommended that the Commission withdraw the 
proposed valuation requirement until the Commission has the time to 
conduct a thorough study, including a comprehensive cost-benefit 
analysis, whereas Markit recommended that the rule be modified to 
explicitly allow parties to comply with the rule by agreeing that an 
independent third party may provide any or all of the elements required 
to agree upon the valuation of swaps. The Coalition of Derivatives End 
Users recommended that the Commission change the rule to require SDs 
and MSPs to provide commercially reasonable information to substantiate 
its valuations upon an end user's request, instead of requiring 
extensive pre-trade documentation of valuation methodology.
    The Working Group recommended that the Commission modify the rule 
to provide that the valuation requirements for cleared swaps or swaps 
executed on a trading facility should be satisfied by referencing the 
price provided by the relevant DCO or facility, while Markit 
recommended that the Commission clarify that neither prices of recently 
executed transactions or any other single pricing input should be 
regarded as preferable inputs for the valuation of swaps and explicitly 
permit parties to use pricing sources other than DCOs, even for cleared 
swaps.
    A number of commenters supported the rule. Chris Barnard strongly 
supported the requirement that the agreed methods, procedures, rules 
and inputs constitute a ``complete and independently verifiable 
methodology for valuing each swap entered into between the parties,'' 
and that the methodology must include alternatives ``in the event that 
one or more inputs to the methodology become unavailable or fail.'' Mr. 
Barnard also supported the requirement for SDs and MSPs to ``resolve a 
dispute over the valuation of a swap within one business day.'' Michael 
Greenberger generally supported the valuation methodology rule to 
promote transparency and financial integrity. MetLife agreed with the 
proposal that parties should determine upfront what the valuation 
methodologies will be to help mitigate disputes, but believes that 
disputes will not be eliminated by the rule.
    CIEBA commended the Commission for requiring objective and specific 
valuation mechanisms in swaps documentation and believes that this 
requirement will limit the potential for valuation disputes. However, 
CIEBA believes requiring objective and specific valuation mechanisms is 
not enough. In addition to requiring SDs to value swaps using 
transparent models that can be replicated by their counterparties, 
CIEBA recommended that the Commission require the mechanisms or 
procedures by which disputes are resolved to be fair and even-handed 
and should not override existing contractual protections negotiated by 
the parties.
b. Commission Response
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is modifying and 
clarifying the proposal in a number of ways. First, in response to 
concerns from non-financial entities regarding the cost and the 
challenges of pre-execution negotiation, the Commission is modifying 
the rule to require valuation documentation only at the request of non-
financial entities. In other words, non-financial entities will have 
the ability, but not the obligation, to enter into negotiations on 
valuation with their SD or MSP counterparties. As discussed below, the 
rule will continue to apply to SDs, MSPs, and financial entities.
    While the Commission agrees with commenters regarding the 
importance of using transparent models that can be replicated, the 
Commission recognizes concerns about protecting proprietary information 
used in internal valuation models. Thus, the Commission has modified 
the rule to clarify the requirement that the agreement on valuation use 
objective criteria, such as recently-executed transactions and 
valuations provided by independent third parties. In this regard, the

[[Page 55912]]

Commission agrees with The Working Group that the valuation 
requirements for cleared swaps or swaps executed on a trading facility 
would be satisfied by referencing the price provided by the relevant 
DCO, SEF, or DCM.
    Additionally, the Commission confirms commenters' understanding 
that proprietary models may be used for purposes of valuation, provided 
that both parties agree to the use of one party's confidential, 
proprietary model. An agreement by the parties to use one party's 
confidential, proprietary model is sufficient to satisfy the 
requirements of Sec.  23.504(b)(4)(i), including the requirement that 
the parties agree on the methods, procedures, rules and inputs for 
determining the value of each swap. On the other end of the spectrum 
from simply agreeing to use one party's model, counterparties may, if 
they choose, elect to negotiate precisely which model and inputs will 
govern the valuation of their swaps. Counterparties would be free to 
elect either of these options or many other possibilities under the 
terms of Sec.  23.504(b)(4) so long as the resulting valuations are 
sufficient to comply with the margin requirements under section 4s(e) 
of the CEA and the risk management requirements under section 4s(j) of 
the CEA, and there is a dispute resolution process in place or a viable 
alternative method for determining the value of the swap. Moreover, the 
Commission is modifying proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(4)(iii) to clarify 
that confidential, proprietary model information is protected under the 
rule.
    To address concerns that the use of the phrase ``methods, 
procedures, rules, and inputs'' could be interpreted as requiring 
agreement on the precise model and all inputs for valuing a swap, the 
Commission is modifying the rule text to require that parties agree on 
``the process, including methods, procedures, rules, and inputs for 
determining the value of each swap.''
    Importantly, the Commission is responding to commenters' concerns 
about the requirement that the valuation documentation be stated with 
sufficient specificity to allow the SD, MSP, the Commission, and any 
prudential regulator to value the swap ``independently in a 
substantially comparable manner.'' Commenters viewed this standard as 
problematic because they read it to require disclosure of proprietary 
information or to prevent the updating or revising of models, among 
other things. Accordingly, the Commission has determined to remove this 
provision from the final rule. So long as the valuation documentation 
is stated with sufficient specificity to determine the value of the 
swap for purposes of complying with the requirements of the rule--
namely, the margin and risk management requirements under section 4s of 
the CEA and Part 23 of Commission regulations--the requirements of 
Sec.  23.504(b)(4)(i) would be met.
    Under this approach, parties may rely on a general set of methods, 
inputs, models, and fallbacks for valuation purposes so long as the 
process is sufficient to determine the value of a swap. In response to 
concerns that the proposal would require a methodology that would be 
static or rigid over time, the Commission is further modifying the rule 
to make explicitly clear that the parties may agree on a process, 
including methods or procedures for modifying or amending the valuation 
process as circumstances require and as the market changes over 
time.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ To the extent that one or both parties foresee that the 
valuation method or inputs agreed for a swap or a class or category 
of swaps will likely require modification, parties would be well-
served to agree in advance in their swap trading relationship 
documentation on an appropriate arrangement for accommodating such 
modifications.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission does not disagree with commenters that differences 
in valuations can provide valuable information to both market 
participants and regulators about pricing dislocations and associated 
credit risks. Moreover, the objective is not to produce values that 
become increasingly outdated over time. Rather, the Commission believes 
that by requiring agreement between counterparties on the methods and 
inputs for valuation of each swap, Sec.  23.504(b)(4) will assist SDs 
and MSPs and their counterparties to arrive at valuations necessary for 
margining and internal risk management, and to resolve valuation 
disputes in a timely manner, thereby reducing risk.
    Agreement between SDs, MSPs, and their financial entity 
counterparties on the proper daily valuation of the swaps in their swap 
portfolio is an essential component of the Commission's margin 
proposal. Under proposed Sec.  23.151, non-bank SDs and MSPs must 
document the process by which they will arrive at a valuation for each 
swap for the purpose of collecting initial and variation margin in 
compliance with the requirements of Sec.  23.504. All non-bank SDs and 
MSPs must collect variation margin from their non-bank SD, MSP, and 
financial entity counterparties for uncleared swaps on a daily basis. 
Variation margin requires a daily valuation for each swap. For swaps 
between non-bank SDs and MSPs and non-financial entities, no margin is 
required to be exchanged under Commission regulation, but the non-bank 
SDs and MSPs must calculate a hypothetical variation margin requirement 
for each uncleared swap for risk management purposes under proposed 
Sec.  23.154(b)(6).\11\ The daily valuation agreed to by the 
counterparties is necessary for compliance with the margin requirements 
proposed by the Commission and the prudential regulators under section 
4s(e) of the CEA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ SDs and MSPs that are banks are subject to the requirements 
of section 4s(i). In addition, under the prudential regulators' 
margin proposal, SDs and MSPs that are banks would be required to 
have documentation in place that specifies the ``(1) [t]he methods, 
procedures, rules, and inputs for determining the value of each swap 
* * * for purposes of calculating variation margin requirements; and 
(2) [t]he procedures by which any disputes concerning the valuation 
of swaps * * * or the valuation of assets collected or posted as 
initial margin or variation margin, may be resolved.'' Margin and 
Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities, 76 FR 27564, 27589 
(May 11, 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the fact that arriving at a daily valuation is one 
of the building blocks for the margin rules, timely and accurate 
valuations are essential for the risk management of swaps by SDs and 
MSPs. Under Sec.  23.600(c)(4)(i), the Commission required that SDs and 
MSPs have risk management policies and procedures that take into 
account the daily measurement of market exposure, along with timely and 
reliable valuation data. The valuation documentation requirements under 
Sec.  23.504(b) and the risk management provisions of Sec.  23.600 work 
together to ensure that SDs and MSPs have the most accurate and 
reliable valuation data available for internal risk management and for 
collateralization of risk exposures with counterparties. This is not to 
say that valuation disputes can be prevented entirely or that these 
disputes do not, at times, offer useful insight into the marketplace. 
Indeed, risk management personnel and management within the SD or MSP 
should pay particular attention to different valuations for the same 
swap originating within their organization or from outside the entity. 
For these purposes, the Commission expects that valuation disputes that 
are not resolved in accordance with these rules be elevated to senior 
management in the firm.\12\ However, the final rule reflects the 
recognition that accurate and

[[Page 55913]]

reliable valuations are the foundation of margining and risk 
management.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Under Sec.  23.600(c)(1)(1)(iii), the risk management 
program requires SDs and MSPs to have policies and procedures for 
detecting breaches of risk tolerance limits set by an SD or MSP, and 
alerting supervisors within the risk management unit and senior 
management, as appropriate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission also agrees with commenters that the trading 
documentation should be permitted to focus on the valuation dispute 
resolution process rather than exclusively on fallback methodologies, 
and has further modified the rule to allow for either fallback 
methodologies or agreement on a dispute resolution process, but does 
not think it necessary or desirable to specify a standard dispute 
resolution process at this time, as requested by MetLife.
    Lastly, the Commission wishes to distinguish its use of the terms 
``valuation'' under section 4s(i) of the CEA and ``daily mark'' under 
section 4s(h). In its final rules for Business Conduct Standards for 
SDs and MSPs with Counterparties, the Commission explained that the 
daily mark for uncleared swaps represented the mid-market mark of a 
swap provided by an SD or MSP to its counterparty.\13\ The mid-market 
mark of the swap represents an objective value that provides 
counterparties with a baseline to assess swap valuations for other 
purposes.\14\ By contrast, in Sec.  23.504(b)(4), the Commission is 
requiring that SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties agree to a process 
for determining the current market value or net present value of a swap 
for purposes of collateralizing the risk posed by the swap and internal 
risk management. The critical difference being the agreement of both 
counterparties to the process for determining the value of a swap, 
rather than just the SD's or MSP's calculation of the mid-market value 
of the swap.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See 77 FR 9734, 9767-68 (Feb. 17, 2012); see also Swap Data 
Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, 77 FR 2136, (Jan. 13, 
2012) (defining ``valuation data'' by reference to section 
4s(h)(3)(B)(iii) of the CEA and Sec.  23.431.
    \14\ See Sec.  23.431(d). SDs and MSPs must provide a daily mark 
for uncleared swaps that is the mid-market mark of the swap which 
does not include amounts for profit, credit reserve, hedging, 
funding, liquidity, or any other costs or adjustments.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

13. Application to Cleared Swaps--Sec.  23.504(b)(6)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(6) required the swap trading relationship 
documentation of SDs and MSPs to include certain items upon acceptance 
of a swap for clearing by a DCO, including documentation of each 
counterparty's clearing member, the date and time the swap was cleared, 
that the swap conforms to the terms of the DCO's templates, and that 
the clearing member's books reflect the terms of the swap at the DCO. 
The proposed regulation also required the documentation to contain a 
statement that the original swap is extinguished and replaced by a swap 
subject to the rules of the DCO.
    ISDA & SIFMA urged the Commission to clarify that the term ``swap 
trading relationship documentation'' is used to describe only bilateral 
documentation between parties to uncleared swaps. ISDA & SIFMA 
recommend that the Commission not finalize Sec.  23.504(b)(6) because 
ISDA & SIFMA (1) Saw no need to record the identity of its 
counterparty's clearing member; (2) recommended that the obligation to 
provide notice of the date and time of clearing and the identity of the 
DCO is deemed satisfied when the counterparty receives a clearing 
report from the DCO; (3) objected to notifying the counterparty of the 
SD's or MSP's clearing member as that information may be sensitive and 
is not material to the counterparty; and (4) saw no need to state facts 
about the counterparty's cleared swap in trading relationship 
documentation.
    CME commented that existing clearing houses use an agency model 
with FCMs acting as the agent and guarantor for customers, providing 
numerous benefits. To preserve the agency structure, CME requested that 
Sec.  23.504(b)(6)(v)(B) be changed to read ``The original swap is 
replaced by equal and opposite swaps with the derivatives clearing 
organization.''
    CME further commented that under the rule the anonymity of the 
customer of the clearing member on the other side of the trade to the 
clearing member will be lost. CME does not believe the anonymity needs 
to be lost to serve the purposes of the documentation rules.
    MFA commented that one of the benefits of central clearing is 
anonymity, such that once parties submit a swap for central clearing, 
it need not retain or know any information about the counterparty. MFA 
recommended that the final rule not require any identifying information 
about the parties and their firms.
    The Commission has considered the commenters' recommendation to 
delete the clearing record provisions of Sec.  23.504(b)(6)(iii) and 
(iv) and agrees that there is no need to include in the trading 
documentation a record of the names of the clearing members for the SD, 
MSP, or counterparty. The Commission notes that the new applicability 
provision added to Sec.  23.504(a)(1) provides that the swap trading 
relationship documentation rule does not apply to swaps executed 
anonymously on a DCM or SEF, but believes that anonymity may also be 
important in the execution of swaps executed off-facility, such as in 
the execution of block trades with asset managers where allocation may 
take place following acceptance of the block trade for clearing by a 
DCO. Once a swap is accepted for clearing, the identity of a 
counterparty's clearing member is no longer relevant and requiring such 
a record has the possibility to undermine the anonymity of central 
clearing. Therefore, those provisions have been deleted from the final 
rule. Similarly, Sec.  23.504(b)(6)(i) and (ii) have been removed 
because those records will be captured under the SD and MSP 
recordkeeping requirement, Sec.  23.201(a)(3), and the Commission 
believes those records are sufficient.
    With regard to proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(6)(v), the Commission has 
retained but streamlined the provision, as recommended by ISDA & SIFMA 
and CME, to include only the text in Sec.  23.504(b)(6) set forth in 
the regulatory text of this rule.
    The Commission continues to believe that swap trading relationship 
documentation should make clear the effects of clearing a trade with a 
DCO; i.e., that the original swap is extinguished and replaced with a 
swap facing the DCO that conforms to the terms established under the 
DCO's rules. The Commission has determined that an orderly swap market 
requires this notice to clarify that the terms of the swap under a 
DCO's rules are definitive and trump any contradictory terms that may 
have been included in the swap as executed between an SD or MSP and its 
counterparty.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ This provision corresponds to Sec.  39.12(b)(6), which 
establishes parallel requirements for DCOs clearing swaps. Both 
proposals have been modified in a similar manner for the final 
rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

14. Annual Audit of 5 Percent of Swap Trading Relationship 
Documentation--Sec.  23.504(c)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(c) required that SDs and MSPs, at least once 
during each calendar year, have an independent internal or external 
auditor examine no less than 5 percent of the swap trading relationship 
documentation created during the previous twelve month period to ensure 
compliance with Commission regulations and the written policies and 
procedures established pursuant to Sec.  23.504.
    In response to the proposal, ISDA & SIFMA, FSR, and Hess urged the 
Commission to adopt a principles-based approach to the audit 
requirement and only require SDs and MSPs to conduct periodic audits 
sufficient to identify material weaknesses in their documentation 
policies and procedures.

[[Page 55914]]

Similarly, IECA recommended that the Commission require an audit of a 
random sample, rather than 5 percent, which IECA found too costly. 
Commenting on a different aspect of the proposal, Michael Greenberger 
thought that allowing internal audits, as opposed to external, could 
undermine transparency and accountability.
    In response to commenters and as a cost-saving measure, the 
Commission is modifying the proposed rule in accordance with the 
alternative recommended by ISDA & SIFMA, FSR, and Hess by removing the 
5 percent audit requirement and replacing it with a more general 
requirement that SDs and MSPs conduct periodic audits sufficient to 
identify material weaknesses in their documentation policies and 
procedures. With respect to Mr. Greenberger's comment, the Commission 
continues to believe that internal auditors are sufficient as a record 
of the results of each audit will be retained and can be reviewed by 
Commission staff during examinations of the SD or MSP or investigations 
by Commission enforcement staff.
15. Dispute Reporting--Sec.  23.504(e)
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to notify the 
Commission and any applicable prudential regulator or the SEC of any 
swap valuation dispute not resolved within one business day, if the 
dispute is with a counterparty that is an SD or MSP, or within five 
business days if the dispute is with any other counterparty.
    In response to the proposal, ISDA & SIFMA recommended that the 
Commission should limit reporting to material disputes at the portfolio 
level, urging the Commission to accept the materiality thresholds for 
reporting established by the OTC Derivatives Supervisors' Group 
process, which require reporting of disputes above a certain dollar 
threshold and only after such disputes have had a proper time to 
mature. ISDA & SIFMA argued that rule as proposed will be overly 
burdensome and the over-reporting will cause substantial informational 
``noise.''
    MFA strongly agreed that the Commission should adopt rules related 
to valuation disputes and their timely resolution, but questioned 
whether regulators need notice of every unresolved dispute regardless 
of their materiality from a systemic risk or regulatory perspective. 
MFA also commented that the proposed dispute resolution period of one 
business day for unresolved disputes among SDs and MSPs is too short, 
arguing that valuation disputes may require discussion and negotiation 
by and among several levels of management and many different 
operational teams at an SD or MSP. MFA thus recommended that the 
Commission provide for five business days to resolve a valuation 
dispute in an account before they must give regulators notice and only 
require notice to regulators where the amount in dispute exceeds either 
(a) $100 million, or (b) both 10 percent of the higher of the parties' 
valuation and $50 million. In addition, MFA strongly believes that any 
notices of disputes should be treated confidentially by regulators, and 
not be subject to public access.
    IECA argued that the proposed rule should be removed because it 
creates an unlevel playing field by creating pressure on a party that 
wants to avoid reporting to concede in any dispute.
    MetLife agreed that the Commission should establish strict 
timelines for reporting disputes, but argued that the periods proposed 
are too short to allow parties to resolve disputes on their own. 
MetLife recommended that disputes between SD/MSPs should be given 3 
days before reporting is required and be subject to a materiality 
condition of 10 percent of the calculated valuation of the swap in 
dispute.
    Hess recommended that the Commission limit reporting to material 
disputes dependent on the risk the dispute may pose to the financial 
system taking into account the size of the dispute relative to the size 
of the trade, the collateral involved, and the size of the parties 
involved.
    For the reasons submitted by these commenters, the Commission has 
determined that only material swap valuation disputes should be 
reported to the Commission, any applicable prudential regulator, and 
the SEC (with regard to swaps defined in section 1a(47)(A)(v) of the 
Act). Thus, the Commission is modifying the rule to provide that SDs 
and MSPs shall provide notice of any swap valuation dispute in excess 
of $20,000,000 (or its equivalent in any other currency).\16\ The 
Commission has determined that the $20,000,000 materiality threshold 
for reporting is sufficiently high to eliminate unnecessary ``noise'' 
from over-reporting, but not so high as to eliminate reporting that the 
Commission may find of regulatory value, such as a large number of 
relatively small disputes that in aggregate could provide the 
Commission with information regarding a widespread market disruption.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 4 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that ``counterparties shall report to the 
competent authority * * * any disputes between counterparties 
relating to an OTC derivative contract, its valuation or the 
exchange of collateral for an amount or a value higher than EUR 15 
million and outstanding for at least 15 business days.'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, the Commission is modifying the requirement for SDs 
and MSPs to report unresolved valuation disputes within one business 
day if the dispute is with a counterparty that is a SD or MSP. SDs and 
MSPs now will be required to report unresolved valuation disputes 
within three business days. For disputes with counterparties that are 
not SDs or MSPs, the rule is unchanged from the proposal, requiring 
that unresolved disputes be reported within five business days.
    The Commission has also determined that the reporting requirement 
of the rule better fits with the resolution requirement under the 
portfolio reconciliation rule at Sec.  23.502 and has renumbered the 
rule as Sec.  23.502(c). The Commission notes that the reporting 
requirement under the rule as adopted is distinct from the swap 
valuation methodology requirement under Sec.  23.504(b)(4), discussed 
above, and the time period requirement for SDs and MSPs to resolve swap 
valuation disputes in Sec.  23.502, discussed below.
16. Orderly Liquidation Termination--Sec.  23.504(b)(5)
    Proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(5) required SDs and MSPs to include in 
their swap trading relationship documentation an agreement with their 
counterparties that, in the event a counterparty is a covered financial 
company (as defined in section 201(a)(8) of the Dodd-Frank Act) or an 
insured depository institution (as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813) for which 
the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been appointed as 
a receiver (the ``covered party''), the non-covered party is subject to 
certain limitations specified by law following the appointment of the 
FDIC as receiver of the covered party and the non-covered party 
acknowledges that the FDIC may take certain actions with respect to the 
transactions governed by such documentation.
    In response to the proposal, ISDA & SIFMA and FSR argued that 
because the rule language is not identical to section 210 of the Dodd-
Frank Act, the proposed rule requiring an agreement between 
counterparties in swap trading relationship documentation could 
inadvertently expand FDIC powers beyond limits set by Congress by 
creating a discrepancy between the FDIC's actual powers under Title II 
of the Dodd-Frank Act and the treatment consented to by the parties. 
ISDA & SIFMA believe that any discrepancy could operate to strip 
parties of legal

[[Page 55915]]

rights to challenge their treatment under Title II of the Dodd-Frank 
Act. This, in turn, could raise questions about whether the rule is a 
proper exercise of the Commission's rulemaking authority. ISDA & SIFMA 
recommended that the Commission revise the rule to only require a 
notice of the relevant provisions of Title II.
    CIEBA also noted that the proposed language is similar to, but not 
the same as, the statutory text in the Dodd-Frank Act and the FDIA, and 
could harm its constituents. By substituting terms and apprising 
parties of some, but not all, of their rights, the proposed rule 
increases the risk of disputes and creates uncertainty as to what will 
be required to comply with both the statute and the regulatory regime. 
As an example, CIEBA cited section 210(c)(9)(A)(i) of the Dodd-Frank 
Act, which states that, in the context of orderly liquidation, the FDIC 
may elect to ``transfer to one financial institution, (i) all qualified 
financial contracts * * * or (ii) transfer none of the qualified 
financial contracts, claims, property or other credit enhancement 
referred to in clause (i) (with respect to such person and any 
affiliate of such person).'' In contrast to this statutory language, 
the proposed rule uses ``may,'' which suggests that the FDIC has the 
discretion to transfer less than all qualified financial contracts in 
contrast to its statutory requirement to transfer all or none. CIEBA 
also notes that the proposed regulation would remain effective even if 
the statutory provision it implements is repealed or amended. This 
could result in parties being forced to waive rights that protect their 
financial interest in times of market turmoil. In the alternative, 
CIEBA recommended that the Commission require the documentation to 
include a written statement in which the counterparties agree that they 
will comply with the requirements, if any, of section 210(c)(10)(B) of 
the Dodd-Frank Act and section 11(e)(10)(B) of the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Act, or instead, require an SD or MSP to include a statement 
thereof in its risk disclosure documents. At the least, CIEBA requests 
that the Commission add an additional section to proposed Sec.  
23.504(b)(5) to reflect a counterparty's right to suspend payments to 
the covered party for the period of the stay, as provided in section 
210(c)(8)(F)(ii) of the Dodd-Frank Act.
    EEI & NRECA also objected to the proposed rule, arguing that a 
statutory provision intended to encourage cooperation between the FDIC 
and the Commission does not provide the Commission with authority to 
unilaterally establish new jurisdiction for itself and that the 
Commission should allow the FDIC to take the lead as contemplated by 
Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act. EEI & NRECA stated that energy end 
users would be particularly harmed by the proposed rule because swaps 
would be covered by the rule, but not physical transactions, causing 
energy end users to separately collateralize swaps and physical 
transactions, eliminating their ability to cost-effectively hedge 
commercial risks using swaps.
    The FHLBs acknowledged the potential applicability of the orderly 
liquidation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, but also objected to the 
inclusion of the provisions in the swap documentation as the provisions 
would apply notwithstanding such inclusion and doing so could create 
legal uncertainty since other liquidation regimes are not listed in the 
documents.
    MetLife objected specifically to the requirement to include consent 
to FDIC liquidation, arguing that such consent may foreclose a party's 
right to appeal or challenge the FDIC's actions. MetLife also raised 
concerns that blanket consent could place the remaining party in a 
position where it has unwanted excessive credit exposure to the new 
counterparty, resulting in violation of state law requirements with 
respect to credit ratings and other credit quality requirements. 
MetLife requested that the section be removed or that a provision be 
added to allow a party to object to any proposed transfer.
    Hess argued that the provision is not appropriate because the large 
majority of SDs and MSPs will likely not be ``covered financial 
companies'' and as of now, the actual application of Title II is 
unclear. Hess recommended that the rule only require SDs and MSPs to 
provide notice of the possibility of FDIC liquidation.
    Chris Barnard commented that the authority of the FDIC is statutory 
in nature, and so would automatically apply to the relevant swaps, 
overriding any current practice. Given this point, Mr. Barnard believes 
the provision is redundant.
    In contrast to the foregoing, Better Markets fully supported the 
proposed rule, stating that the proposed rule represents a 
clarification of a fundamental feature of swaps; the consequences of a 
default by an SD or MSP. Better Markets stated that a basic premise of 
derivatives in bankruptcy is the exemption from the automatic stay such 
that the non-defaulting party may immediately terminate and apply 
collateral post insolvency. Better Markets agreed that the proposed 
rule documents an important exception to that right newly created in 
the Dodd-Frank Act. Better Markets believes that clarity, both at 
inception of a swap and at default, is the foundation of the Dodd-Frank 
Act, because lack of clarity contributed heavily to the financial 
crisis and caused much harm.
    The Commission has carefully considered each of the comments 
received on the proposal. At the outset, the Commission believes that, 
in the context of the proposed rules, it is not possible to track the 
statutory language of Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act any more closely. 
Given the imperfectability of reproducing such statutory language and 
the context in which it appears in the rule, the Commission is 
sensitive to commenters' concerns that the rule could have a different 
legal effect in application as compared to application of the statutory 
language. The Commission is also aware that the statutory provisions 
will apply to covered financial companies and insured depository 
institutions placed into FDIC receivership even if not included in this 
rule. Therefore, the Commission has determined that the best course is 
to revise the proposed rule to require that swap trading relationship 
documentation contain only a notice as to whether the SD or MSP or its 
counterparty is an insured depository institution or financial company 
and that the orderly liquidation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and 
the FDIA may limit the rights of the parties under their trading 
relationship documentation in the event either party is deemed a 
``covered financial company'' or is otherwise subject to having the 
FDIC appointed as a receiver.

C. End User Exception Documentation--Sec.  23.505

1. Overlap With Proposed Sec.  39.6
    The proposed regulation required SDs and MSPs, when transacting 
with market participants claiming the exception to clearing under 
section 2(h)(7) of the CEA, to obtain documentation sufficient to 
provide a reasonable basis on which to believe that its counterparty 
meets the statutory conditions required for the exception. Various 
requirements for the documentation were listed in the proposed rule.
    In response to the proposal, The Working Group and Encana Marketing 
(USA), Inc. (Encana) argued that because proposed Sec.  39.6 would 
require SDs and MSPs to collect and report the information relevant to 
the section 2(h)(7) clearing exception, the proposed rule should be 
revised to impose no

[[Page 55916]]

documentation obligations with regard to this exception. Encana also 
commented that in the alternative, Sec.  23.505 should only require 
that SDs and MSPs obtain ``documentation'' that the counterparty 
qualifies as an end user in the transaction documents, but did not 
specify what form such documentation should take. COPE also commented 
that the proposed rule is burdensome and redundant to proposed Sec.  
39.6 and believes that the attestation required by proposed Sec.  39.6 
should be sufficient.
    Michael Greenberger, on the other hand, believes a check-the-box 
approach is insufficient, and recommended enhanced reporting 
requirements ensuring that the calculation methodology and the 
effectiveness of the hedged position are well documented. Better 
Markets also recommended enhanced reporting, suggesting that end users 
report their hedging transactions to SDRs as provided in proposed Sec.  
39.6. Requiring end users to provide information for each transaction 
to SDs and MSPs separately is overly burdensome whereas direct 
reporting to SDRs would amount to only a slight change from current 
prudent practice at many end users.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is adopting the 
rule as proposed with one exception. The Commission has permitted 
entities that qualify for the exception to the clearing requirement 
under section 2(h)(7) of the Act to report information directly to an 
SDR regarding how they generally expect to meet their financial 
obligations associated with non-cleared swaps on an annual basis in 
anticipation of electing the exception for one or more swaps.\17\ Thus, 
an electing counterparty could be directly reporting the information 
necessary for SD and MSP compliance with proposed Sec.  23.505(a)(3) 
through (5). Therefore, the Commission has modified the proposed rule 
to clarify that SDs and MSPs need not obtain documentation from any 
counterparty that claims an exception from required clearing if that 
counterparty is reporting directly to an SDR regarding how it generally 
expects to meet its financial obligations associated with its non-
cleared swaps, and the SD or MSP has confirmed that the counterparty 
has made its annual submission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ See End-User Exception to the Clearing Requirement for 
Swaps, 77 FR 42560, 42590 (July 19, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Reasonable Basis--Sec.  23.505(a)
    The proposed regulation required that SDs or MSPs have a reasonable 
basis to believe its counterparty meets the statutory conditions 
required for an exception from a clearing requirement.
    In response to the proposal, ISDA & SIFMA requested that the 
Commission clarify that the ``reasonable basis to believe'' standard in 
the proposed rule may be satisfied by reliance on written 
representations from the counterparty, absent facts that reasonably 
should have put the swap dealer or major swap participant on notice 
that its counterparty may be ineligible for the end user exception. 
ISDA & SIFMA argued that registrants should not have to investigate 
their counterparty's representations or obtain detailed representations 
as to the facts underlying the company's qualifications.
    The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users supports the ``check-the-
box'' approach in proposed Sec.  39.6 for end users to use to qualify 
for the clearing exception, and is therefore concerned that the 
``reasonable basis'' obligation in proposed Sec.  23.505(a) could 
undermine the simplicity of the check-the-box approach. The Coalition 
for Derivatives End-Users argues that if SDs and MSPs must verify end 
user information, they may start to require unnecessary and costly 
documentation from end users such as legal opinions or other documents, 
rather than serving as passive conduits of information.
    After considering these comments, the Commission has determined to 
adopt the rule as proposed on this issue. The Commission is of the view 
that, contrary to commenters' concerns, the ``reasonable basis'' 
standard in the proposed rule does not require independent 
investigation of information or documentation provided by a 
counterparty electing the exception from required clearing. The 
Commission believes that so long as an SD or MSP has obtained 
information, documentation, or a representation that on its face 
provides a reasonable basis to conclude that the counterparty qualifies 
for the exception under section 2(h)(7), then, in the absence of facts 
that reasonably should have put the SD or MSP on notice that its 
counterparty may be ineligible for the exception, no further 
investigation would be necessary. The Commission does not believe that 
the rule requires legal certainty on the part of SDs or MSPs.
3. Disclosure of Information by End Users
    The proposed regulation required SDs and MSPs to obtain 
documentation that its counterparty seeking to qualify for the clearing 
exception generally meets its financial obligations associated with 
non-cleared swaps.
    Better Markets argued that the proposed rule should require 
documentation in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, i.e., 
documentation as to how the counterparty generally meets its 
obligations associated with non-cleared swaps, including how it would 
meet any obligation to immediately fund margin upon the occurrence of a 
credit trigger.
    ISDA & SIFMA commented that the Dodd-Frank Act merely requires a 
counterparty to notify the Commission as to how it generally meets its 
financial obligations. ISDA & SIFMA recommended that Sec.  23.505(a)(5) 
be deleted or clarified such that a registrant can satisfy the 
requirement by obtaining a representation from its counterparty or by 
obtaining the documentation only with respect to swap-related 
obligations to the particular SD or MSP.
    In the view of COPE, EEI, and CIEBA, the requirement for the SD/MSP 
to get information from end users is anti-competitive and inappropriate 
as it requires an end user to inform its SD or MSP counterparty, a 
potential competitor, of proprietary details about its business, 
including its hedging activities. Each recommended that no more than a 
representation from the end user should be required. COPE also objects 
to the rule placing the SD or MSP in the role of regulator responsible 
for determining if the information received is sufficient.
    As explained above, the Commission is modifying the proposed rule 
to clarify that SDs and MSPs need not obtain documentation from any 
counterparty that claims an exception from required clearing if that 
counterparty is reporting directly to an SDR under Sec.  39.6(b) 
regarding how it generally expects to meet its financial obligations 
associated with its non-cleared swaps, and the SD or MSP has confirmed 
that the counterparty has made its annual submission. Thus, any entity 
seeking to claim the exception from clearing may avoid revealing any 
information it considers sensitive to its SD or MSP counterparty by 
self-reporting directly to an SDR under Sec.  39.6(b). The Commission 
notes that protections against release of reported proprietary 
information are addressed in the SDR rules finalized by the Commission.

[[Page 55917]]

D. Swap Confirmation--Sec.  23.501

    Confirmation has been recognized as an important post-trade 
processing mechanism for reducing risk and improving operational 
efficiency by both market participants and their regulators. Prudent 
practice requires that, after coming to an agreement on the terms of a 
transaction, parties document the transaction in a complete and 
definitive written record so there is legal certainty about the terms 
of their agreement.
    Over the past several years, OTC derivatives market participants 
and their regulators have paid particular attention to the timely 
confirmation of swaps. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found 
that the rapid expansion of the trading volume of swaps, such as credit 
derivatives since 2002, caused stresses on the operational 
infrastructure of market participants. These stresses in turn caused 
the participants' back office systems to fail to confirm the increased 
volume of trades for a period of time.\18\ The GAO found that the lack 
of automation in trade processing and the purported assignment of 
positions by transferring parties to third parties without notice to 
their counterparties were factors contributing to this backlog. If 
transactions, whether newly executed or recently transferred to another 
party, are left unconfirmed, there is no definitive written record of 
the contract terms. Thus, in the event of a dispute, the terms of the 
agreement must be reconstructed from other evidence, such as email 
trails or recorded trader conversations. This process is cumbersome and 
may not be wholly accurate. Moreover, if purported transfers of swaps, 
in whole or in part, are made without giving notice to the remaining 
parties and obtaining their consent, disputes may arise as to which 
parties are entitled to the benefits and subject to the burdens of the 
transaction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ U.S. Government Accountability Office, ``Credit 
Derivatives: Confirmation Backlogs Increased Dealers' Operational 
Risks, But Were Successfully Addressed After Joint Regulatory 
Action,'' GAO-07-716 (2007) at pages 3-4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission believes the work of the OTC Derivatives Supervisors 
Group (ODSG) demonstrates that the industry is capable of swift 
movement to contemporaneous execution and confirmation. A large back-
log of unexecuted confirmations in the credit default swap (CDS) market 
created by prolonged negotiations and inadequate confirmation 
procedures were the subject of the first industry commitments made by 
participating dealers to the ODSG.\19\ In October 2005, the 
participating dealers committed to reduce by 30 percent the number of 
confirmations outstanding more than 30 days within four months. In 
March 2006, the dealers committed to reduce the number of outstanding 
confirmations by 70 percent by June 30, 2006. By September 2006, the 
industry had reduced the number of all outstanding CDS confirmations by 
70 percent, and the number of CDS confirmations outstanding more than 
30 days by 85 percent. The industry achieved these targets largely by 
moving 80 percent of total trade volume in CDS to confirmation on 
electronic platforms, eliminating backlogs in new trades.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ See October 4, 2005 industry commitment letter to the 
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, available at http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news_archive/markets/2005/an050915.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By the end of 2011, the largest dealers were electronically 
confirming over 95 percent of OTC credit derivative transactions, and 
90 percent were confirmed on the same day as execution (T+0). For the 
same period, the largest dealers were electronically confirming over 70 
percent of OTC interest rate derivatives (over 90 percent of trades 
with each other), and over 80 percent were confirmed T+0. The rate of 
electronic confirmation of OTC commodity derivatives was somewhat 
lower--just over 50 percent, but over 90 percent for transactions 
between the largest dealers.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ See G15 Industry Confirmation Data dated April 4, 2012 
provided by ISDA, available at www.cftc.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission further recognizes the ODSG supervisory goal for all 
transactions to be confirmed as soon as possible after the time of 
execution. Ideally, this would mean that there would be a written or 
electronic document executed by the parties to a swap for the purpose 
of evidencing all of the terms of the swap, including the terms of any 
termination (prior to its scheduled maturity date), assignment, 
novation, exchange, or similar transfer or conveyance of, or 
extinguishing of rights or obligations.
    The Commission believes that timely and accurate confirmation of 
swaps is critical for all downstream operational and risk management 
processes, including the correct calculation of cash flows, margin 
requirements, and discharge of settlement obligations as well as 
accurate measurement of counterparty credit exposures. Timely 
confirmation also allows any rejections, exceptions, and/or 
discrepancies to be identified and resolved more quickly. To this end, 
in the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission proposed Sec.  23.501, which 
prescribed standards for the timely and accurate confirmation of swap 
transactions. The Commission received approximately 27 comment letters 
in response to the Confirmation NPRM and considered each in formulating 
the final rules, as discussed below.
1. Uniform Application of Proposed Rules to All Asset Classes
    In the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission solicited comments on 
whether certain provisions of the proposed regulations should be 
modified or adjusted to reflect the differences among asset classes.
    In response to the request for comments, ISDA noted that the work 
done by the industry with the ODSG led to customization of 
documentation and confirmation timeframes to account for the 
differences between asset classes, and even between products within 
asset classes, but the proposed confirmation requirements do not allow 
for this same flexibility. However, ISDA did not suggest specific 
timeframes for the Commission's rules.
    The FHLBs recommended that the Commission exercise caution in 
applying rules to all swap asset classes equally as procedures that are 
appropriate for interest rate swaps may be insufficient or unnecessary 
for other types of swaps.
    The Global Foreign Exchange Division of AFME, SIFMA, and ASIFMA 
(GFED) commented that the Commission should take into account the high 
volume of transactions and wider universe of participants in the 
foreign exchange industry when promulgating its final rules.
    The Working Group requested that the Commission revise the rules to 
permit current practice in the energy swap market where one party sends 
an acknowledgement to the other party and the acknowledgement is deemed 
a legally binding confirmation if the receiving party does not object 
within three business days. The Working Group believes this practice is 
efficient because (i) It eliminates the risk of open confirmations, 
(ii) dealers need not chase for a physically signed confirmation, and 
(iii) counterparties need not respond if terms are acceptable.
    BG Americas & Global LNG (BGA) commented that energy commodity 
trading companies typically extract trading data in a batched cycle at 
the end of the day and generate confirmations the following day. BGA 
does not believe it is clear that expedited confirmation would enhance

[[Page 55918]]

transparency or reduce systemic risk and is therefore outweighed by the 
enormous cost for registrants that would have to add resources to 
perform rolling confirmations and correct errors.
    As discussed further below, in section III.B.2, the Commission has 
made every effort to tailor the confirmation requirements by asset 
class based on data provided by major market participants. The 
Commission has achieved such tailoring by modifying the time periods 
for confirmation by asset class along with a generous compliance phase-
in period, but has retained an otherwise uniform rule across asset 
classes. The Commission believes the uniform standard with appropriate 
differences in time periods and compliance periods will lead to 
efficient use of limited regulatory resources, while also reducing 
implementation costs for affected market participants.
2. Use of ``Enforce'' in Proposed Rules Sec.  23.501(a)(3), Sec.  
23.502(b), Sec.  23.502(b)(4), and Sec.  23.503(d)
    The proposed regulations require SDs and MSPs to establish, 
maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures to accomplish a 
number of requirements, including confirmation with financial entities 
and non-financial entities; portfolio reconciliation; valuation dispute 
resolution; and bilateral and multilateral compression and termination 
of fully offsetting swaps.
    In regard to the use of ``enforce'' in these provisions, ABC & 
CIEBA requested that the Commission delete the term wherever it appears 
because SDs and MSPs are not ``registered entities'' under section 
1(a)(40) of the CEA and therefore Congress did not intend for SDs and 
MSPs to have the self-regulatory authority to enforce compliance with 
their internal policies and procedures. Similarly, Freddie Mac 
commented that the requirement in the proposed rules that SDs enforce 
policies designed to ensure confirmation with non-SD, non-MSP 
counterparties within the short deadlines mandated by the proposed 
rules could result in SDs exerting undue pressure on such 
counterparties to quickly assent to the terms of a trade as framed by 
the SD in the form of a condition to execution of a swap, with the risk 
that the swap could become void or otherwise fail.
    The Commission is sensitive to these concerns, and has accordingly 
modified the proposed rules by replacing each instance of the term 
``enforce'' with the term ``follow.'' The Commission observes that the 
intent of the term ``enforce'' in the proposed rules was to require SDs 
and MSPs to in fact follow the policies and procedures established to 
meet the requirements of the proposed rules, rather than to require an 
SD or MSP to enforce its internal policies and procedures against third 
parties.
3. Definition of ``Acknowledgement''--Sec.  23.500(a)
    The proposed regulations defined ``acknowledgement'' to mean ``a 
written or electronic record of all of the terms of a swap signed and 
sent by one counterparty to the other.''
    Commenting on this definition, GFED requested that the Commission 
clarify whether an ``acknowledgement'' is the same as a ``trade 
affirmation'' in the FX market, which is matching of economic fields 
only, and MFA recommended that the Commission revise the definition to 
provide that an acknowledgement need only specify the primary economic 
terms of a swap (rather than all terms).
    Despite these comments, the Commission is adopting the definition 
of acknowledgement as proposed. The intent of the definition was to 
make clear that an SD or MSP must provide its non-SD, non-MSP 
counterparties with a complete record of all terms of an executed swap 
transaction. The Commission believes that to achieve the timely 
confirmation goals of Sec.  23.501, mistaken, misunderstood, or 
disputed terms must be identified quickly. To do so, a counterparty 
needs to see documentation reflecting all of the terms of the swap 
transaction as the SD or MSP understands them. The Commission therefore 
does not agree with commenters that an acknowledgement need contain 
only the primary economic terms of a swap transaction. In reaching this 
conclusion, the Commission recognizes that requiring delivery of an 
acknowledgement containing all terms may require the parties to agree 
to more terms at execution than are agreed under some current market 
practices, but, given the critical role confirmation plays in all 
downstream operational and risk management processes, the Commission 
believes that any additional pre-execution burden imposed is justified.
4. Definition of ``Confirmation''--Sec.  23.500(c)
    The proposed regulations defined ``swap confirmation'' to mean 
``the consummation (electronically or otherwise) of legally binding 
documentation (electronic or otherwise) that memorializes the agreement 
of the parties to all the terms of the swap. A confirmation must be in 
writing (whether electronic or otherwise) and must legally supersede 
any previous agreement (electronically or otherwise).''
    Reacting to this definition, ABC & CIEBA explained that where a 
lead fiduciary for a pension fund negotiates ISDA documentation on a 
relationship basis, there sometimes will be a provision that the master 
agreement's terms legally supersede the confirmation's terms unless the 
fiduciary entering the plan into the swap represents that inconsistent 
terms in the confirmation are more beneficial to the plan. ABC & CIEBA 
therefore requested that the Commission clarify that the phrase 
``legally supersede any previous agreement'' is only intended to apply 
to prior agreements outside the scope of the package of documentation 
that makes up the master agreement between the parties (i.e., master 
agreements, credit support agreements, all confirmations, etc.).
    Similarly, the Asset Management Group of SIFMA (AMG) explained that 
in current practice, some clients to asset managers require that terms 
in the confirmation of a swap cannot supersede conflicting terms in a 
client's master agreement. AMG therefore also recommended that the 
Commission clarify the proposed rule to provide that a confirmation 
will not legally supersede the contractual arrangements agreed on by 
the parties.
    On a different tack, GFED requested clarification as to whether 
``confirmation'' means only actual legal confirmation execution or 
whether it may also include matching services that do not provide a 
legally binding confirmation of all terms, but merely affirmation of 
trade economics, and ISDA requested clarification that confirmation may 
be accomplished by use of matching services under which some buy-side 
firms ``affirm'' trades.
    Jason Copping offered an alternative definition of ``confirmation'' 
under which a swap is confirmed when all parties accept the terms and 
no change to the terms would be legally binding until all parties agree 
to such changes.
    In response to these comments, the Commission reiterates that the 
intent of the proposed rule was to require the terms of a confirmation 
to include all of the binding terms of the swap. This definition is the 
same definition adopted by the Commission in the Swap Data 
Recordkeeping and Reporting rules in part 45 of the Commission's 
regulations.\21\ In addition, under the Swap Data Recordkeeping and 
Reporting rules, all terms agreed in a

[[Page 55919]]

confirmation must be reported to an SDR.\22\ Therefore, in addition to 
the need for all terms to be confirmed for purposes of downstream 
operational processing and risk management, the Commission has a strong 
interest in consistent rules for the swap market. For these reasons, 
the Commission is adopting the definition of confirmation as proposed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ See 17 CFR 45.1.
    \22\ See 17 CFR 45.3.
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    With respect to the comments of ABC & CIEBA and AMG, the Commission 
understands the practice explained by these commenters to mean that 
some confirmations of swaps incorporate by reference certain terms that 
are delineated in master agreements and that the parties have agreed 
that such terms trump any inconsistent terms that may appear in a 
confirmation. The Commission clarifies that the rules adopted herein do 
not prohibit the practice of incorporation by reference. Therefore, if 
counterparties want to include certain standard provisions in their 
master agreements that will control each swap transaction executed, 
this approach would be acceptable so long as they ensure that their 
books and records and the confirmation data reported to an SDR reflects 
the actual terms of each swap transaction. Given the Commission's 
interest in ensuring the integrity of data reported to an SDR, 
contradictory or conflicting swap transaction terms in an SD's or MSP's 
books and records or in data reported to an SDR when reconciled with an 
SD's or MSP's books and records could indicate non-compliance with the 
both the confirmation rule adopted herein and the swap data reporting 
rules under part 45 of the Commission's regulations.
    Moreover, the Commission clarifies that any specific agreed-upon 
collateral requirements in a confirmation, which may go beyond what 
exists in the collateral support arrangements under the swap trading 
relationship documentation, would be required to be confirmed according 
to the timeframes discussed below.
5. Definition of Financial Entity-Sec.  23.500(e)
    The Commission proposed to define ``financial entity'' to have the 
same meaning as given to the term in section 2(h)(7)(C) of the Act, 
excepting SDs and MSPs. Subsequent to the proposal, the Commission 
proposed a number of rules that contained slightly differing 
definitions of the term.\23\ The Commission has therefore determined to 
revise the definition of ``financial entity'' for purposes of the rules 
adopted herein to be consistent with its other rules applicable to SDs 
and MSPs. Thus, ``financial entity'' has been defined in the rule 
adopted in this release to mean ``a counterparty that is not a swap 
dealer or a major swap participant and that is one of the following. 
(1) A commodity pool as defined in section 1a(5) of the Act, (2) A 
private fund as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers 
Act of 1940, (3) An employee benefit plan as defined in paragraphs (3) 
and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income and Security 
Act of 1974, (4) A person predominantly engaged in activities that are 
in the business of banking, or in activities that are financial in 
nature as defined in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 
1956, and (5) a security-based swap dealer or a major security-based 
swap participant.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ See e.g., Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 76 FR 23732, 23744 (Apr. 28, 
2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Electronic Execution and Processing--Sec.  23.501(a)(1) & (2); 
Definition of ``Processed Electronically''--Sec.  23.500(j)
    The proposed regulations prescribed trade acknowledgement delivery 
and confirmation deadlines for swap transactions that are executed and 
processed electronically, and different deadlines for swaps that are 
not executed electronically but are processed electronically. The 
proposed regulations provided that ``processed electronically'' means 
``to be entered into a swap dealer or major swap participant's 
computerized processing systems to facilitate clearance and 
settlement.'' In addition, the Commission requested comment on whether 
the term ``processed electronically'' required more clarification, and, 
if so, what definition would be effective and flexible enough to 
accommodate future market innovation.
    In response to the proposal, ABC & CIEBA urged the Commission to 
ensure that the proposed confirmation rule does not indirectly impose 
on benefit plans processes that will require third-party service 
providers or new technology by expressly stating that a party to an 
uncleared swap that is not an SD or MSP has the right to determine 
whether the confirmation will occur electronically or manually. AMG 
also recommended that a party to an uncleared swap that is not an SD or 
MSP should have the right to determine whether the confirmation will 
occur electronically or manually.
    The Working Group and MFA warned that the Commission should not 
mandate confirmation through an electronic matching platform because 
electronic matching is unlikely to be able to capture all terms of 
customized transactions. Chatham Financial Corp. (Chatham) also argued 
that the Commission should not mandate confirmation through an 
electronic matching platform, because such a mandate could preclude 
end-users from entering into swaps not yet available on matching 
platforms and could increase costs for end-users that do not engage in 
the volume of swaps necessary to justify the additional costs of 
connecting to electronic matching platforms.
    ISDA commented that electronic execution and processing standards 
should be phased and aspirational because development by the industry 
will be required to meet the timelines of the proposed rules. ISDA also 
argued that the proposed life cycle confirmation requirement will 
undermine the move to electronic execution and processing, because not 
all life cycle events are currently supported by electronic platforms 
across asset classes.
    MarkitSERV supports the Commission's goal of having as many 
transactions as possible be executed on electronic platforms, and 
recommended that the Commission require all swap transaction 
information to be communicated electronically if a registrant has the 
ability to do so, and encourage (but not require in all cases) the use 
of electronic matching and confirmation platforms.
    Many commenters raised questions regarding what would constitute 
electronic processing. MFA requested that the Commission clarify if 
``processed electronically'' only refers to swaps confirmed through 
electronic confirmation or matching services, or whether ``processed 
electronically'' could refer to a registrant entering trade information 
into its trade capture system, the generation of an acknowledgement 
from such system and the forwarding of such acknowledgement to a 
counterparty by facsimile, email, or other electronic method, while 
GFED requested that the Commission clarify whether a SWIFT confirmation 
would meet the definition of ``processed electronically'' under the 
proposed rules. The Working Group also questioned whether confirming a 
swap via email would constitute electronic processing. The FHLBs 
requested that the Commission clarify if ``processed electronically'' 
only refers to swaps confirmed through electronic confirmation or 
matching services, while ISDA recommended that the Commission not 
define ``processed electronically'' to include all

[[Page 55920]]

transactions for which some element of the transaction is captured or 
processed through electronic means, but define it with reference to a 
firm or platform's ``middleware,'' which will actually drive the 
process. Finally, MetLife recommended that the Commission more clearly 
define the terms ``processed electronically'' and ``executed 
electronically'' because MetLife needs more information to determine 
whether the proposed time frames for confirmation are realistic within 
current market capabilities.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission acknowledges the 
concerns expressed by market participants regarding the coerced use of 
matching platforms and is accordingly modifying the proposed rule to 
delete the definition of ``processed electronically'' and delete the 
provisions of the rule mandating acknowledgement and confirmation 
deadlines for swaps that are executed or processed electronically. In 
place of these provisions, the rule has been modified to provide that 
swap transactions among SDs and MSPs or between such registrants and 
financial entities should be confirmed as soon as technologically 
practicable, but in any event by the end of the first business day 
following the day of execution (as modified for time zone and business 
day differences, discussed in detail below). The Commission believes 
this change will eliminate any confusion as to whether a method of swap 
execution and confirmation qualifies as ``electronic.'' As explained 
further below, the modified rule would provide a single deadline for 
confirmation of swap transactions among registrants, a single deadline 
for confirmation of swap transactions between registrants and financial 
entities, and a single deadline for confirmation of swap transactions 
between registrants and all other entities, with appropriate 
adjustments of the compliance deadlines by swap asset class for 
implementation of the rule.
7. Delivery of Draft Acknowledgement to Non-SD, Non-MSP Counterparties 
Sec.  23.501(a)(3)
    Proposed Sec.  23.501(a)(3) required SDs and MSPs to establish a 
procedure such that, prior to execution of any swap with a non-SD or 
non-MSP, the registrant furnish to a prospective counterparty a draft 
acknowledgment specifying all terms of the swap transaction other than 
the applicable pricing and other relevant terms that are to be 
expressly agreed at execution.
    Commenting on the proposal, ISDA argued that the requirement to 
provide a draft acknowledgement prior to execution may cause loss of 
timely execution opportunities, and may require end-users to engage 
significant legal resources for review of all proposed transactions, 
rather than just executed transactions. ISDA recommended that non-
dealer counterparties be permitted to waive the delivery of draft 
acknowledgements. MFA similarly argued that the proposed rule will (i) 
Prevent end users from executing promptly when the market is favorable; 
(ii) cause end users to concede on terms in order to get timely 
execution; (iii) cause a decrease in the number of transactions, which 
will decrease liquidity and increase volatility; and (iv) cause wider 
bid/ask spreads or less market-making because of an increase in risk 
between pricing and execution. Freddie Mac also believes that the 
proposed rule would delay prompt execution of hedging transactions 
because end users will be required to review draft acknowledgements.
    MarkitSERV argued that requiring a draft acknowledgement is 
unnecessarily burdensome because (i) multiple SDs competing for a trade 
would all be required to furnish a draft acknowledgement, and (ii) many 
transactions executed through automated electronic systems can complete 
a confirmation promptly after execution. MarkitSERV recommended that 
the Commission require draft acknowledgements to contain only terms 
necessary to determine price (rather than all terms) and only require 
delivery of draft acknowledgements for swaps that cannot be processed 
electronically and where confirmation is not reasonably expected to be 
completed within 24 hours.
    On the other hand, ABC & CIEBA agreed with the Commission's 
proposal to require all terms, except terms related to price, be 
disclosed in writing prior to the time of execution. AMG also supported 
the proposed rule, but recommended that the Commission revise the rule 
to provide an exception for swaps where the parties have previously 
agreed to non-pricing-related terms.
    Finally, MetLife recommended that the Commission revise the 
proposed rule to specifically indicate which party is responsible for 
delivery of an acknowledgement and which party is responsible for the 
return confirmation.
    Having considered the commenters' concerns, but cognizant of the 
support for the proposed rule by some commenters, the Commission is 
modifying the proposed rule to require delivery of a draft 
acknowledgement, but only upon request of an SD's or MSPs' non-SD, non-
MSP counterparty prior to execution.
    With respect to MetLife's comment, the Commission believes the rule 
as proposed clearly states that it is the SD's or MSP's responsibility 
to deliver an acknowledgement when trading with a counterparty that is 
not an SD or MSP. The SD or MSP is required to have policies and 
procedures reasonably designed to ensure that its counterparty returns 
a confirmation or otherwise completes the confirmation process. With 
respect to trades solely among SDs and MSPs, the Commission does not 
believe it is necessary to prescribe responsibility for delivery of an 
acknowledgement because both parties would be required to comply with 
the confirmation deadline set forth in the rule as adopted herein.
8. Time Period for Confirmation--Sec.  23.501(a)(1) & (3)
    Proposed Sec.  23.501 provided time periods for confirmation as set 
forth at 75 FR 81519, 81531 (Dec. 28, 2010).
    The Commission received 27 comments with respect to the proposed 
rule's time periods for confirmation. Below, the comments are described 
according to the following categories:
    (A) General comments on the proposed time periods;
    (B) Comments on proposed time periods for confirmation with non-SDs 
and non-MSPs;
    (C) Comments on time periods for confirmation with financial 
entities;
    (D) Comments on confirmation of swaps between parties in different 
time zones; and
    (E) Comments on confirmation of swaps executed near end of trading 
day.
(A) Comments on Time Periods Generally
    ISDA stated that the proposed rules place an unnecessary burden 
upon the inception of transactions, may increase risk by leading to 
needless disputes and operational lapses, and require substantially 
more than is necessary to create an initial record of a legally binding 
agreement. ISDA also argued that: (i) The time periods proposed are 
impractical as certain terms required to be included in a confirmation 
may not be known on the same calendar day as execution (e.g., initial 
rates may follow trade commitment by days); and (ii) valuation 
methodologies required to be agreed prior to execution pursuant to 
proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(4), may also slow down the confirmation 
process to the extent such methodologies are required to be reflected 
in the confirmation. ISDA recommended an alternative framework:

[[Page 55921]]

     Execution of a swap on a SEF or DCM or clearing a swap 
should be deemed to satisfy any confirmation requirements.
     Electronic execution and processing standards should be 
phased and aspirational as development by the industry will be 
required.
     The Commission should conduct a study in order to better 
understand the potential barriers to complying with the proposed 
timelines for confirmation in each asset class.
     The Commission should institute an approach similar to 
that utilized by the ODSG; an ongoing dialogue between the Commission 
and leaders in the industry to obtain a commitment from the industry to 
tighten confirmation timeframes over an extended period, with existing 
risk mitigants to address Commission concerns in the interim.
    The Working Group also objected to the time periods between 
execution and confirmation in the proposed rules because: (i) The time 
periods effectively will require all terms of a swap to be negotiated 
prior to execution, and that such requirement will disadvantage the 
party that is most sensitive to timing of market conditions and may 
force that party to accept less optimal economic terms or reduced 
negotiating leverage in order to meet the confirmation deadline; and 
(ii) the Commission has not articulated any benefit from the 
requirement that non-registrants confirm a swap no later than the day 
after execution that would outweigh the cost for most non-registrants 
to comply with the rule.
    MarkitSERV commented that the time periods specified in the 
proposed rules for confirmation are not feasible in many cases and 
recommended the following alternative:
     The time period within which confirmation is required to 
be completed should not begin with execution, but only from the point 
when all relevant data and information to define the swap has been 
obtained (e.g., allocations).
     Acknowledgements should be sent within a time period after 
all information has been obtained and confirmation should be completed 
within a time period after an acknowledgement has been received.
     Non-electronically executed and non-electronically 
processed transactions should be confirmed within 24 hours of 
execution, rather than within the same calendar day.
     The confirmation requirement should consist of ``economic 
tie-out'' of key economic terms rather than confirmation of all terms.
     Electronic processing should be defined to include the 
capability for electronic communication.
    AMG argued that same calendar day or next business day confirmation 
may not be appropriate for complex or customized uncleared swaps, 
including swaps entered by asset managers that must allocate block 
trades among their clients. AMG also recommended that the Commission 
revise the proposed rules to provide for a delay in confirmation for 
legitimate disputes between the parties if the parties are seeking to 
resolve the dispute in a timely fashion.
    BGA commented that the 15 minute and 30 minute deadlines for 
confirmation or acknowledgement in the proposed rules are unworkable 
and inconsistent with current practice. BGA stated that energy 
commodity trading companies typically extract trading data in a batched 
cycle at the end of the day and generate confirmations the following 
day. BGA does not believe it is clear that expedited confirmation would 
enhance transparency or reduce systemic risk and is therefore 
outweighed by the enormous cost for registrants that would have to add 
resources to perform rolling confirmations and correct errors. BGA also 
argued that swaps executed on electronic platforms and through broker/
dealers as clearing agents should not require a confirmation.
    Chatham argued that the proposed timeframes for confirmation could 
result in decreased accuracy as parties will rush to complete 
transaction documentation without thorough review.
    The FHLBs stated that currently available electronic swap 
processing systems do not support customized terms in swaps used by the 
FHLBs and therefore the same business day deadline is not sufficient 
for swaps that require manual processing. The FHLBs also stated that 
for some swaps (e.g., forward settling interest rate swaps), all terms 
may not be known when the swap is executed.
    MetLife requested that the Commission extend the timeframe for 
delivery and return of confirmations for transactions not executed on a 
SEF or DCM as such are often highly structured and customized and it is 
unreasonable to expect parties to generate a confirmation within the 
timeframe set forth in the proposed rules. MetLife recommended that the 
Commission revise the proposed rules to provide three business days 
following execution for delivery of an acknowledgement for such 
transactions and at least two business days following receipt of an 
acknowledgement to review and return a confirmation.
    GFED stated that the various deadlines are significantly too short 
for many FX swap trades and inappropriately rely on both parties 
complying with the proposed rules. GFED recommends that the Commission 
revise the proposed rules, as such are applied to FX swap trades, 
taking into account: (i) The method of confirmation (electronic/paper); 
(ii) the complexity of the underlying transaction (e.g., vanilla 
options vs. basket options); and (iii) the counterparty type.
    MFA recommended that the Commission specify no timeframe for 
confirmation, allowing parties to execute whenever market conditions 
are favorable with the expectation that they may negotiate non-economic 
terms later.
(B) Comments on Time Periods for Confirmation With Non-SDs and Non-MSPs
    With respect to the proposed confirmation time periods for swaps 
between an SD or MSP and a non-SD or non-MSP specifically, ISDA 
commented that the rule lacks clarity on how non-registrant 
counterparties can be required to comply with the confirmation 
requirements. The FHLBs echoed ISDA's comment, arguing that the 
proposed timeframe may lead SDs and MSPs to put undue pressure on end 
users to execute confirmations before such parties have had an 
opportunity to fully review such confirmations. To alleviate this 
concern, the FHLBs argued that the proposed rules should allow SDs and 
MSPs at least 48 hours to provide end users with an acknowledgement, at 
least two business days for end users to review acknowledgements and 
execute confirmations, and provide for an exception from the 
confirmation deadlines for complex or unique swap transactions (as 
determined by the parties) upon notice to the Commission detailing the 
unique or complex aspects of the swap and the date by which a 
confirmation will be executed.
    Chatham recommended an alternative confirmation requirement for 
swaps with non-SDs and non-MSPs:
     For electronically confirmed swaps, an acknowledgement 
would be required to be submitted electronically on the same or next 
business day after execution, and swap terms would be required to be 
affirmed, matched or otherwise confirmed or a notice of discrepancy 
provided within three business days; any discrepancy would be required 
to be resolved and the swap confirmed within five business days

[[Page 55922]]

after the discrepancy was communicated.
     For non-electronically confirmed swaps, an acknowledgement 
would be required to be issued within one business day of execution; a 
notice of discrepancy provided within five business days; and 
confirmation required within 30 days.
    Dominion commented that the energy industry standard is to achieve 
confirmation of uncleared swaps not executed on an electronic platform 
within three business days, and that such standard is often documented 
in participants' existing master agreements. Dominion thus argued that 
the proposed next business day confirmation requirement may conflict 
with end user contractual rights and obligations, and may cause end 
users to incur costs even though the Commission has not articulated a 
justifiable benefit to end users or the market.
(C) Comments on Time Periods for Confirmation With Financial Entities
    Specifically with respect to confirmation of swap transactions 
between an SD or MSP and a financial entity, ABC & CIEBA stated that 
the ``same business day'' confirmation requirement would impose costly 
increases in operational capacity for pension funds, which may 
discourage use of swaps or limit trading to earlier parts of the 
trading day. ABC & CIEBA recommended that the Commission provide for a 
``close of next business day'' time limit for benefit plans and other 
non-SD, non-MSP counterparties. AMG also argued that financial entities 
should not be subject to shorter time periods for confirmation than 
non-financial end-users because many may not have the operational 
resources to meet the demands of the proposed rules. Similarly, Freddie 
Mac argued that it often takes several business days to correct and 
execute confirmations, and the proposed rules would not permit 
sufficient time for correction of draft confirmations or resolution of 
disputes over trade terms.
    While MFA agreed with the proposed longer time period for 
confirmation for swap transactions between an SD or MSP and 
counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs, but objected to a shorter time 
period for financial entity end users as compared to other end users. 
MFA argued that designation as a financial entity does not necessarily 
correlate with a large swap portfolio or being highly sophisticated 
with respect to swaps, and the short time period for confirmation 
applicable to financial entities under the proposed rules may cause 
unwarranted disadvantages in negotiation of swap terms with SDs and 
MSPs.
    Finally, the OCC believes that the same calendar day trade 
confirmation requirement for financial entities would eliminate or 
significantly reduce customized transactions between registrants and 
such entities, leading to less effective risk management. The OCC 
argued that the short confirmation deadline will require the parties to 
negotiate all terms prior to execution, leading to the unnecessary 
expenditure of resources for transactions that are never executed. The 
OCC further argued that negotiation prior to execution will delay 
execution, which itself can create risks in fast moving markets.
(D) Comments on Confirmation of Swaps Between Parties in Different Time 
Zones
    The Commission received several comments concerned with the 
proposed time periods for confirmation as applied to swap transactions 
between parties in different time zones.
    Commenting on this aspect of the proposed rule, ISDA stated that 
cross-border transactions frequently require more than one day to 
confirm due to business day and time zone differences; Chatham and GFED 
also commented that the proposed timeframes fail to account for 
coordination across time zones.
(E) Comments on Confirmation of Swaps Executed at End of Day
    The Commission also received several comments concerned with the 
proposed same day confirmation requirement for swap transactions among 
SDs and MSPs and between an SD or MSP and a financial entity as applied 
to swap transactions executed near the end of the trading day.
    In this regard, ISDA, Chatham, the FHLBs, AMG, and GFED each 
commented that the rules should account for transactions executed 
toward the end of the business day that leave little or no time for 
same-day confirmation. To account for this issue, AMG recommended that 
parties should be given no less than 24 hours to confirm trades, while 
the FHLBs recommended that swap transactions executed after 3:00 p.m. 
EST should be considered executed on the immediately following business 
day.
Commission Response
    The Commission has considered the many comments with respect to the 
proposed time periods for confirmation and has decided to revise the 
proposed rule in a number of ways to better attune the rule to the 
intention of the Commission's proposal, the concerns raised by 
commenters, and the needs of the market. The Commission has revised the 
proposed rule as discussed below.
    The proposed time periods for swaps executed or processed 
electronically have been replaced in their entirety by a requirement 
that, subject to a compliance phase-in schedule, all swaps among SDs 
and MSPs or between SDs, MSPs, and financial entities be confirmed ``as 
soon as technologically practicable,'' but no later than the end of the 
first business day following the day of execution.\24\ The Commission 
believes this change still requires electronically executed or 
processed trades to be confirmed quickly, but is responsive to 
commenters that have provided examples of processing operations that 
contain some electronic elements but are not ``straight-through'' in 
the sense intended by the proposed rules and therefore are incapable of 
meeting the proposed 15 or 30 minute deadlines.
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    \24\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 1 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that uncleared OTC derivatives ``shall be 
confirmed, where available via electronic means, as soon as possible 
and at the latest by the end of the same business day.'').
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    In revising the rule, the Commission also was persuaded by the 
comments of market participants that are concerned with the possibility 
of pressure by their dealer counterparties to make costly changes to 
their operating systems in order to meet the required confirmation 
deadlines. The Commission notes that these changes also make the 
confirmation rule consistent with the real-time public reporting rules 
and the rules mandating deadlines for the reporting of swap data to 
SDRs, both of which use ``as soon as technologically practicable'' as 
the applicable standard.\25\
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    \25\ See 17 CFR 43.2, Real-Time Public Reporting of Swap 
Transaction Data, 77 FR 1182, 1243-44 (Jan. 9, 2012); 17 CFR 45.3, 
Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, 77 FR 2136, 
2199-2200 (Jan. 13, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to the proposed time periods for swaps executed 
between SDs and MSPs and counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or 
financial entities, the Commission has modified the rule to require, 
subject to a compliance phase-in schedule, policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that a confirmation is executed no later 
than the end of second business day after execution.\26\ The Commission 
believes this change will afford SDs and MSPs an

[[Page 55923]]

extra business day to confirm their swap transactions with non-
financial entities and is more consistent with the time periods 
suggested by commenters.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 1 RM, 
subsection 3, (stating that uncleared OTC derivatives ``shall be 
confirmed as soon as possible and at the latest by the end of the 
second business day following the date of execution.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to commenters, as discussed above, the Commission is 
revising the proposed rule to state explicitly that swaps executed on a 
SEF or DCM, and swaps cleared by a DCO, will be deemed to have met the 
confirmation requirements so long as: (i) confirmation of all terms of 
the transaction takes place at the same time as execution on a SEF or 
DCM; or (ii) the parties submit the swap for clearing no later than the 
time that confirmation would otherwise be required and the DCO confirms 
the terms of the swap upon acceptance for clearing. To ensure that no 
swap transaction goes unconfirmed, the modified rule also contains a 
backstop requirement for SDs and MSPs to confirm a swap for which the 
registrant receives notice that a SEF, DCM, or DCO has failed to 
provide a confirmation on the same day as it receives such notice.
    Based on the comments received, the Commission is also modifying 
the proposed rule to adjust the confirmation deadline for swaps among 
SDs and MSPs and between SDs, MSPs, and financial entities whenever the 
parties (i) execute a swap near the end of the trading day (i.e., after 
4 p.m.), or (ii) execute a swap with a counterparty located in a 
different time zone. The Commission has been persuaded by commenters 
that registrants should not be required to maintain back-office 
operations 24 hours a day or 7 days a week in order to meet the 
proposed confirmation deadlines. The Commission has been particularly 
sensitive to comments stating that the proposed confirmation deadlines 
may discourage trade execution late in the day. Specifically, the 
Commission has made the following changes to the proposed rule:
     To account for time-zone issues, the ``day of execution'' 
has been defined to be the calendar day of the party to the swap that 
ends latest, giving the parties the maximum amount of time to confirm 
the transaction within the deadlines required by the rule.
     To account for end-of-day trading issues, the definition 
of ``day of execution'' deems such day to be the next succeeding 
business day if execution occurs after 4:00 p.m. in the place of either 
counterparty.
     To account for non-business day trading, the ``day of 
execution'' is also deemed to be the next succeeding business day if 
execution occurs on a day that is not a business day.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 1 RM, 
subsection 3, (stating that where an uncleared OTC derivative 
transaction ``is concluded after 16.00 local time, or when the 
transaction is concluded with a counterparty that is located in a 
different time zone that does not allow for same day confirmation, 
the confirmation shall take place as soon as possible and at the 
latest by the end of the next business day.'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission notes that this approach is consistent with the 
business day definition in the Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting 
Rules finalized by the Commission in December 2011.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ See 71 CFR 45.1, Swap Data Recordkeeping and Reporting, 77 
FR 2136, 2197 (Jan. 13, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Despite several commenters' concerns, however, the Commission has 
declined to modify the proposed requirement that SDs and MSPs establish 
policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that swaps with 
financial entities meet the same confirmation deadlines as swaps among 
SDs and MSPs. While the Commission recognizes that an SD or MSP may not 
be able to ensure that a non-registrant financial entity abides by the 
confirmation deadline in each and every instance, it believes that 
``policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure'' is not the 
same as requiring a guarantee of compliance. Therefore, the Commission 
believes that the rule contains sufficient flexibility because it only 
requires that the SDs and MSPs make reasonable efforts to confirm swaps 
with financial entities by the stated deadline.
    As discussed below in section III.B.2, the Commission is phasing in 
compliance with each of the time periods required under Sec.  23.501. 
This compliance schedule is set forth in the rule text and seeks to 
further address concerns from market participants regarding the timing 
of compliance.
9. Allocation of Block Trades
    The proposed regulations did not address confirmation in the 
context of block trades that must be allocated prior to confirmation.
    With respect to the allocation of block trades, ISDA argued that 
the proposed confirmation rule will be difficult for asset managers to 
implement because asset managers often execute block trades and then 
allocate the block to two or more clients, a process than can take 
significantly longer than the confirmation time periods because the 
allocation process hinges on compliance processes or receipt by 
investment managers of instructions from their clients. In ISDA's view, 
if finalized as proposed, the rule could force investment managers to 
execute individual trades for their clients, increasing pricing and 
operational costs. AMG echoed this point.
    Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) also pointed out that the 
confirmation deadlines in the proposed rules may make it impossible for 
asset managers to make post-execution allocation of trades. ICE stated 
that its own trade processing service for CDS requires that trades be 
allocated within two hours of execution and recommended that the 
Commission adopt a similar standard.
    While the Commission acknowledges that allocation of block trades 
is required to achieve confirmation, it notes that the modifications to 
the rule outlined above replaces the 15 and 30 minute confirmation 
deadlines with a requirement that swaps be confirmed ``as soon as 
technologically practicable, or in any event by the end of the first 
business day following the day of execution.'' The Commission thus 
believes that the rule as modified allows registrants and the asset 
managers for their counterparties the flexibility to work out an 
efficient and timely allocation process within the deadlines for 
confirmation as adopted in this release. The Commission also notes that 
recent amendments to Commission regulation Sec.  1.35 address the 
allocation issue by requiring that account managers must provide 
allocation information to the counterparty no later than the end of the 
calendar day that the swap was executed.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ See Customer Clearing Documentation, Timing of Acceptance 
for Clearing, and Clearing Member Risk Management, 77 FR 21278, 
21306 (Apr. 9, 2012) (providing that ``Orders eligible for post-
execution allocation must be allocated by an eligible account 
manager in accordance with the following: (A) Allocations must be 
made as soon as practicable after the entire transaction is 
executed, but in any event no later than the following times: For 
cleared trades, account managers must provide allocation information 
to futures commission merchants no later than a time sufficiently 
before the end of the day the order is executed to ensure that 
clearing records identify the ultimate customer for each trade. For 
uncleared trades, account managers must provide allocation 
information to the counterparty no later than the end of the 
calendar day that the swap was executed.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

10. Time Period for Delivery of Acknowledgement--Sec.  23.501(a)(2)
    Proposed Sec.  23.501(a)(2) set forth at 75 FR 81519, 81531 (Dec. 
28, 2010) required SDs and MSPs to send an acknowledgement containing 
all of the terms of a swap transaction to each counterparty that is not 
an SD or MSP.
    In response to the proposal, ISDA asserted that the time periods 
proposed are impractical because: (i) Certain terms required to be 
included in an acknowledgement may not be known on

[[Page 55924]]

the same calendar day as execution (e.g., initial rates may follow 
trade commitment by days); and (ii) valuation methodologies required to 
be agreed prior to execution pursuant to proposed Sec.  23.504(b)(4) 
may also slow down the acknowledgement process to the extent such 
methodologies are required to be reflected in the acknowledgement. 
Similarly, MarkitSERV recommended that acknowledgements be sent within 
a time period after all information has been obtained (rather than 
after execution), while AMG argued that the time periods are 
unnecessarily short and do not bear a reasonable relationship to the 
systemic risk goals of the Dodd-Frank Act, would be burdensome for 
uncleared swaps which merit more individualized treatment, and could 
impose excessive costs on swap market participants.
    Based on these comments and other considerations discussed above, 
the Commission has revised the proposed rule to delete the 15 and 30 
minute acknowledgement delivery deadlines and replace them with a 
requirement, subject to a compliance phase-in schedule, that an 
acknowledgement be provided ``as soon as technologically practicable, 
but in any event by the end of the day of execution;'' to state 
explicitly that the acknowledgement requirement will be deemed 
satisfied by executing a swap on a DCM or SEF, or clearing the swap 
through a DCO; and to provide for an adjustment to the ``day of 
execution'' to account for time-zone differences and end-of-day trading 
issues. The Commission believes these changes are responsive to the 
foregoing comments. However, in response to the comments of ISDA and 
MarkitSERV regarding terms that may not be known until after the 
acknowledgement delivery deadline has passed, the Commission believes 
that an acknowledgement could meet the requirement that all terms be 
included by describing where and when the ``to be determined'' terms 
will be obtained and provide for incorporation by reference once the 
terms are known.
    As discussed below in section III.B.2, the Commission is phasing in 
compliance with each of the time periods required under Sec.  23.501, 
including the acknowledgement requirement.
11. Confirmation Through Execution on a SEF or DCM and/or Clearing on a 
DCO
    The proposed regulations did not contain specific provisions 
regarding confirmation through execution on a SEF or DCM, or clearing 
on a DCO. However, in the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission stated: 
``It is important to note at the outset, that the Commission expects 
that swap dealers and major swap participants would be able to comply 
with each of the proposed rules by executing a swap on a swap execution 
facility (SEF) or on a designated contract market (DCM), or by clearing 
the swap through a derivatives clearing organization (DCO). For swaps 
executed on a SEF or a DCM, the SEF or DCM will provide the 
counterparties with a definitive written record of the terms of their 
agreement, which will serve as a confirmation of the swap. Similarly, 
if a swap is executed bilaterally, but subsequently submitted to a DCO 
for clearing, the DCO will require a definitive written record of all 
terms to the counterparties' agreement prior to novation by the DCO; 
this too would serve as a confirmation of the swap.'' \30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See Confirmation NPRM at 81520.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commenting on this aspect of the proposal, Chris Barnard supported 
the idea that SDs and MSPs will be able to comply with the proposed 
rule by executing a swap on a SEF, a DCM, or by clearing the swap 
through a DCO, and supported the greater use of these facilities. Each 
of ISDA, CME, ICE, The Working Group, the FHLBs, MetLife, MFA, and 
Chatham recommended that the Commission explicitly clarify in the final 
rules that the confirmation processes of SEFs, DCMs, and DCOs satisfy 
the requirements of the confirmation rules.
    MarkitSERV however asserted that the Commission should not presume 
that execution on a SEF will automatically result in confirmation of a 
swap because the execution and confirmation of a swap are separate and 
distinct activities, and it is possible that SEFs and DCMs may offer 
execution services without necessarily providing confirmation services. 
MarkitSERV recommended that the Commission prescribe standards for any 
confirmation service that may be offered to ensure that SEFs and DCMs 
produce a complete, legally binding record of each swap based on a 
recognized legal framework. MarkitSERV also recommended that SEFs and 
DCMs be permitted to allow qualified third parties to perform the 
confirmation function after swap execution.
    Based on these comments and other considerations discussed above, 
the Commission has revised the proposed rules to state explicitly that 
swaps executed on a SEF or DCM, and swaps cleared by a DCO, will be 
deemed to have met the confirmation requirements so long as: (i) 
confirmation of all terms of the transaction takes place at the same 
time as execution on a SEF or DCM; or (ii) the parties submit the swap 
for clearing no later than the time that confirmation would otherwise 
be required and the DCO confirms the terms of the swap upon acceptance 
for clearing. Under Sec.  39.12(b)(8), DCOs are required to provide a 
confirmation of all the terms of each cleared swap, and this 
confirmation is required to take place at the same time the swap is 
accepted for clearing.\31\ Under Core Principle 11 for DCMs and Sec.  
38.601, DCMs must clear all transactions executed on or through the DCM 
through a Commission-registered DCO.\32\ In essence, confirmation for 
DCM-executed swaps will occur either at the same time as execution or 
upon submission to a DCO. The Commission's rules for SEFs, including 
the proposed confirmation rule, Sec.  37.6(b), have yet to be 
finalized.\33\ However, to the extent that a SEF offers confirmation 
services upon execution or provides for the timely submission of a swap 
for clearing, SDs and MSPs would be able to take advantage of the 
provisions of Sec.  23.501(a)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ See Derivatives Clearing Organization General Provisions 
and Core Principles, 76 FR 69334, 69438 (Nov. 8, 2011). Under Sec.  
39.12(b)(7), DCOs are required to accept or reject for clearing as 
quickly after execution as would be technologically practicable if 
fully automated systems were used all contracts that are listed for 
clearing by the DCO and are executed on or subject to the rules of a 
DCM or a SEF. See Customer Clearing Documentation, Timing of 
Acceptance for Clearing, and Clearing Member Risk Management, 77 FR 
21278, 21309 (April 9, 2012).
    \32\ See Core Principles and Other Requirements for Designated 
Contract Markets, 77 FR 36612, 36705 (June 19, 2012).
    \33\ See Core Principles and Other Requirements for Swap 
Execution Facilities, 76 FR 1214, 1240 (Jan. 7, 2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to MarkitSERV's comments, the Commission notes that if 
a SEF or DCM does not provide confirmation services, the confirmation 
deadlines of the rule will control. The standards for confirmation by 
SEFs and the ability of a SEF to allow a third party to provide the 
confirmation service are outside the scope of this adopting release.
12. Confirmation of Swap Transaction and Ownership Modifications--Sec.  
23.500(m)
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to comply with the 
confirmation requirements for all ``swap transactions.'' The proposed 
regulations defined ``swap transaction'' as any event that results in a 
new swap or in a change to the terms of a swap, including execution, 
termination, assignment, novation, exchange, transfer, amendment, 
conveyance, or

[[Page 55925]]

extinguishing of rights or obligations of a swap.
    In response to this requirement, ISDA stated that some ``market'' 
life cycle events (e.g., option exercise notices, various notices sent 
by calculation agent, etc.) captured by the definition of ``swap 
transaction'' are already described in the original confirmation and 
sees no benefit to confirming those events. ISDA distinguished 
``market'' from ``legal'' life cycle events (e.g., novations and 
terminations), which currently are confirmed. ISDA stated that industry 
methodologies have been developed around the confirmation of legal life 
cycle events at great time and expense and recommends that the 
Commission defer to industry standards and to allow market participants 
to bilaterally agree that certain life cycle events do not require 
subsequent confirmation. ISDA believes that the proposed life cycle 
confirmation requirement will undermine the move to electronic 
execution and processing, because not all life cycle events are 
currently supported by electronic platforms across asset classes.
    BGA recommended that the Commission revise the proposed definition 
of ``swap transaction'' to include only those life-cycle events that 
impact the economics or settlement of the trade, as current practice of 
energy commodity trading companies is not to send new confirmations for 
events like novations.
    GFED believes that the Commission should exclude FX swaps from any 
life-cycle event confirmation requirement. GFED states that efficient 
processes around trade events already exist (e.g., option exercises 
confirmed as new trades), and that ISDA has developed a novation 
protocol in wide use that is moving the industry toward novation 
without confirmation.
    While MFA supports confirmation of life-cycle events, it 
recommended that the Commission not mandate specific timing 
requirements for the confirmation of life-cycle events. MFA states that 
once a life-cycle event occurs, parties to a swap may need to 
renegotiate certain trade terms and a timing requirement is likely to 
disadvantage end users in such negotiation with SDs.
    The Working Group recommended that confirmation of changes to 
material economic or legal terms of a swap should be confirmed, but the 
confirmation should only be required within a reasonable period of 
time, rather than the time periods imposed for newly executed swaps. 
The Working Group also argued that events related to the underlying 
exposure of a swap should not be subject to any confirmation 
requirement as they are generally addressed in master trading 
agreements or the applicable confirmation.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission has determined not 
to modify the proposed rule with respect to this issue. In reaching 
this conclusion, the Commission observes that the definition of ``swap 
transaction'' would require confirmation of changes to the terms of a 
swap that have been agreed between the parties or that change the 
ownership of a swap. However, the definition does not require 
confirmation of events that may impact the economics of the swap. To 
the extent that the documented terms of a swap are agreed to in advance 
and provide for automatic changes to terms upon the occurrence of a 
defined event, the Commission believes that such change would not 
require confirmation pursuant to the rule.
13. Legal Uncertainty for Swaps Following Failure to Comply With Swap 
Confirmation Rules
    The proposal did not address the issue of the legal standing or 
enforceability of a swap transaction that is not confirmed within the 
time periods mandated by the proposed rules.
    In respect of this issue, the FHLBs commented that such failure 
should not affect the enforceability of the swaps because such an 
outcome would lead to legal uncertainty in the swap market, and The 
Working Group recommended that the Commission clearly indicate the 
regulatory and legal consequences of one or more parties to a swap 
failing to meet the timing requirements for acknowledgement and 
confirmation, asserting its view that a swap should not be invalidated 
for the failure to meet the timing requirements of the proposed rules.
    MFA also argued that legal certainty of trade execution is vital 
for all market participants and the proposed rules may lead to 
uncertainty as to the enforceability of transactions that fail to be 
confirmed in compliance with the requirements of the proposed rules. To 
avoid this result, MFA recommended that the rule be revised to require 
only that an SD or MSP deliver an acknowledgement specifying the 
primary economic terms of a swap (rather than all terms), and specify 
no timeframe for confirmation.
    Recognizing the concerns raised by commenters with respect to legal 
certainty, the Commission notes that it is not the intent of the 
confirmation rule to provide swap counterparties with a basis for 
voiding or rescinding a swap transaction based solely on the failure of 
the parties to confirm the swap transaction in compliance with the 
proposed rules. In the absence of fraud, the Commission will consider 
an SD or MSP to be in compliance with the confirmation rule if it has 
complied in good faith with its policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to comply with the requirements. However, the Commission notes 
that it does not have the authority to immunize SDs or MSPs from 
private rights of action for conduct within the scope of section 22 of 
the CEA, i.e., violations of the CEA.
14. Recordkeeping Requirements for Acknowledgements and Confirmation--
Sec.  23.501(b)
    Proposed Sec.  23.501(b) required SDs and MSPs to keep a record of 
the date and time of transmission of acknowledgements and 
confirmations, a record of the length of time between acknowledgement 
and confirmation, and a record of the length of time between execution 
and confirmation.
    Commenting on the proposal, The Working Group recommended that only 
a time stamp on acknowledgements and confirmations be required as the 
remainder of the required records in the proposed rules could be 
determined from the timestamps on these documents. The Working Group 
also requested that the Commission clarify how the recordkeeping 
requirements in the proposed confirmation rule apply to lifecycle 
events because timestamps for some lifecycle events would not make 
sense.
    MarkitSERV recommended that the Commission clarify that an SD's or 
MSP's recordkeeping requirements may be delegated to a third-party 
confirmation platform and the conditions under which such delegation 
may be done.
    BGA argued that energy commodity traders place orders with broker/
dealers and may be unaware of the time at which a trade is actually 
executed, and unable to keep accurate records of the length of time 
between execution and confirmation of a swap. BGA therefore recommended 
that the Commission remove the recordkeeping requirements from the 
proposed rules.
    GFED commented that the time stamp requirements of the proposed 
recordkeeping rules would require significant technology investment as 
current systems typically do not time stamp at issuance or receipt.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is modifying the 
recordkeeping requirement. First, the Commission is removing the

[[Page 55926]]

requirement that SDs and MSPs keep records of the length of time 
between the acknowledgment and confirmation of a swap, as well as the 
time between execution and confirmation, as this information can be 
readily ascertained by reviewing other records. Second, the cross-
reference to Sec.  1.31 has been changed to refer to the record 
retention rule applicable to SDs and MSPs, Sec.  23.203. Apart from 
these modifications, the Commission believes the records required to be 
made and maintained under Sec.  23.501(b) are the minimum necessary to 
monitor compliance with the rule. In addition, the Commission notes 
that certain items in the recordkeeping requirement is information that 
will be required for compliance with other Commission rules, such as 
the time of execution for real-time public reporting of pricing and 
transaction data and for reporting to an SDR.
    In response to MarkitSERV, the rule does not prohibit SDs and MSPs 
from relying on third-party service providers to achieve compliance 
with the rule, although the responsibility for compliance cannot be 
delegated. Finally, in response to The Working Group's comment, the 
Commission is not persuaded that it is impossible to keep time-stamped 
records of key changes in ownership including such significant events 
as execution, termination, assignment, novation, exchange, transfer, 
amendment, conveyance, or extinguishing of rights or obligations. The 
Commission believes that its clarification of the ``swap transaction'' 
definition above alleviates any concern that the rule imposes an 
impossible recordkeeping requirement.

E. Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  23.502

    Portfolio reconciliation is a post-execution processing and risk 
management technique that is designed to: (i) Identify and resolve 
discrepancies between the counterparties with regard to the terms of a 
swap either immediately after execution or during the life of the swap; 
(ii) ensure effective confirmation of all the terms of the swap; and 
(iii) identify and resolve discrepancies between the counterparties 
regarding the valuation of the swap. In some instances, portfolio 
reconciliation also may facilitate the identification and resolution of 
discrepancies between the counterparties with regard to valuations of 
collateral held as margin. Accordingly, in the Confirmation NPRM, the 
Commission proposed Sec.  23.502, which required SDs and MSPs to 
reconcile their swap portfolios with one another and provide 
counterparties who are not registered as SDs or MSPs with regular 
opportunities for portfolio reconciliation. In order for the 
marketplace to realize the full risk reduction benefits of portfolio 
reconciliation, the Commission also proposed to expand portfolio 
reconciliation to all transactions, whether collateralized or 
uncollateralized. For the swap market to operate efficiently and to 
reduce systemic risk, the Commission believed that portfolio 
reconciliation should be a proactive process that delivers a 
consolidated view of counterparty exposure down to the transaction 
level. By identifying and managing mismatches in key economic terms and 
valuation for individual transactions across an entire portfolio, the 
Commission's proposal sought to require a process in which overall risk 
can be identified and reduced. The Commission received numerous 
comments to the portfolio reconciliation proposal and considered each 
in formulating the final rules, as discussed below.
1. Statutory Basis for Portfolio Reconciliation
    The proposed portfolio reconciliation regulations were proposed 
pursuant to section 4s(i) of the CEA, as added by section 731 of the 
Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the Commission to prescribe regulations 
for the timely and accurate confirmation, processing, netting, 
documentation, and valuation of all swaps entered into by SDs and MSPs.
    The Working Group commented that the Commission should delete the 
reconciliation requirements from the proposed rule because section 731 
of the Dodd-Frank Act does not require the Commission to issue rules on 
portfolio reconciliation and the Commission has not fully analyzed the 
potential effect on the market.
    In response to The Working Group's comment, the Commission notes 
that portfolio reconciliation involves both confirmation and valuation 
and serves as a mechanism to ensure accurate documentation. Thus, the 
reconciliation requirements finalized herein are within the scope of 
section 4s(i) of the CEA. Moreover, the Commission reiterates its 
statement in the Confirmation NPRM that disputes related to confirming 
the terms of a swap, as well as swap valuation disputes impacting 
margin payments, have long been recognized as a significant problem in 
the OTC derivatives market, and portfolio reconciliation is considered 
an effective means of identifying and resolving these disputes.
2. General Comments to Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  23.502
    Proposed Sec.  23.502 required SDs and MSPs to engage in periodic 
swap portfolio reconciliation with their swap counterparties. Swap 
portfolio reconciliation is defined in the proposed rule as a process 
by which the two parties to one or more swaps: (i) Exchange the terms 
of all swaps in the portfolio between the parties; (ii) exchange each 
party's valuation of each swap in a portfolio between the parties as of 
the close of business on the immediately preceding business day; and 
(iii) resolve any discrepancy in material terms and valuations.
    While Chris Barnard supported the proposed reconciliation 
requirements, several commenters objected to certain aspects of the 
rule.
    GFED commented that the portfolio reconciliation requirements are 
likely to be onerous, require significant investment in new 
infrastructure, and have few benefits for shorter dated FX swaps. GFED 
therefore recommended that the rules require only: (i) Reconciliation 
of portfolio valuations (as opposed to differences in valuation or 
trade specifics at the transaction level) because there is existing 
market infrastructure in place for this purpose; and (ii) 
reconciliation on a weekly basis with longer timeframes for resolving 
discrepancies that reflect the global nature of the FX market.
    MFA stated that current market practice is for market participants 
to engage in portfolio reconciliation at the transactional level only 
if there are portfolio-level discrepancies that result in margin 
disputes, and MFA recommended that the Commission only require 
portfolio reconciliation upon the occurrence of a material dispute 
regarding margin to avoid unnecessary expense. MFA also believes the 
Commission should accommodate participants with differing policies, 
procedures, business models, structures, and types of swaps by 
providing general principles and guidelines as to what constitutes best 
practices, but not prescriptive rules.
    ISDA stated that current portfolio reconciliation processes in the 
industry are a means of identifying the source of a material collateral 
dispute at the portfolio level. ISDA believes the draft 2011 Convention 
on Portfolio Reconciliation and the Investigation of Disputed Margin 
Calls and the draft 2011 Formal Market Polling Procedure, developed 
pursuant to industry commitments to the ODSG, which ISDA believes will 
be widely adopted by OTC derivatives market participants, should

[[Page 55927]]

play a more significant role in shaping the proposed reconciliation 
rules. Specifically, ISDA believes that portfolio reconciliation should 
be defined by reference to generally-accepted industry standards, as 
instituted through the ODSG process, and reflected in data standards 
and best practices as published by ISDA.
    While TriOptima supports the regular reconciliation of all 
portfolios and believes that this will identify issues that can 
minimize counterparty credit exposure and operational risk, TriOptima 
also believes that the Commission should not require registrants to 
agree on reconciliation procedures, but should encourage the use of 
industry-wide practices and protocols.
    The Commission has not modified the rule based on these comments, 
but certain elements of the rule have been modified based on specific 
comments received, as discussed below. The Commission believes that 
regular portfolio reconciliation will prevent most disputes from 
arising and therefore does not recommend that portfolio reconciliation 
be performed only on an ad hoc basis in response to a material margin 
dispute at the portfolio level. The Commission notes that portfolio 
reconciliation is not required for cleared swaps where the DCO holds 
the definitive record of the trade and determines a binding daily 
valuation for each swap cleared by the DCO. Therefore the Commission 
believes that portfolio reconciliation will become less burdensome as 
the bilateral portfolios of SDs and MSPs become significantly smaller 
over time as a result of required clearing of swaps. In addition, the 
need for portfolio reconciliation may be obviated at such time as all 
swaps are reported to SDRs. For example, if an SDR record of a swap is, 
by agreement of the parties, the legally operative documentation of the 
swap, the parties need only consult the SDR record to reconcile their 
portfolios.\34\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ For example, DTCC's Trade Information Warehouse maintains 
the centralized global electronic database for virtually all CDS 
contracts outstanding in the marketplace. The repository maintains 
the most current credit default swap contract details on the 
official legal, or gold record, for both cleared and bilateral CDS 
transactions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Reconciliation of Material Terms--Sec.  23.502(a)(4) & (b)(4)
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to resolve any 
discrepancy in material terms of swaps in a swap portfolio discovered 
during the process of portfolio reconciliation.
    Commenting on this aspect of the proposal, ISDA stated that current 
portfolio reconciliation processes in the industry are not meant to 
resolve swap terms that do not lead to a material collateral dispute 
and that the proposed rule would cause reconciliation to become a 
replacement for the confirmation process. Similarly, The Working Group 
stated that the Commission should not require reconciliation of terms 
other than valuations to avoid imposing substantial costs on market 
participants in the absence of any immediate need.
    MarkitSERV asserted that the purpose of portfolio reconciliation is 
the resolution of disputes that materially impact collateralization at 
the portfolio level, and thus it is unnecessarily burdensome to require 
any discrepancy in material terms to be resolved. MarkitSERV 
recommended that the Commission only require reconciliation of terms 
that could have a material impact on the valuation or collateralization 
of a swap.
    The FHLBs commented that it is not necessary to repeatedly 
reconcile all terms of swaps that have been reported to a SDR as most 
if not all such terms will not change from day-to-day or even month-to-
month. The FHLBs believe that SDRs will be in the best position to 
efficiently and effectively detect and manage discrepancies in the 
material terms of a swap transaction. Likewise, MetLife recommended 
that the Commission revise the proposed reconciliation rule to require 
only the reconciliation of variable economic terms, as the repeated 
review of static terms confirmed during the confirmation process would 
be an undue burden and expense.
    TriOptima, on the other hand, recognized that the Commission's 
proposal focuses on reconciliation of material terms in portfolios. 
TriOptima believes that this is appropriate because the priority in 
reconciliation is on completeness of trade population, rather than 
granularity in trade details.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is not making any 
change to the proposed requirement that all discrepancies in material 
terms be resolved. The Commission is not persuaded by commenters that a 
discrepancy in the terms of individual swaps would not be material to 
the swap portfolio as a whole unless such discrepancies impact 
collateralization at the portfolio level. Rather, the Commission 
believes that a discrepancy in the material terms of a swap indicates a 
failure in the confirmation process or a failure in a trade input or 
processing system. As noted in the preamble to the proposed rules, the 
Commission believes that the requirement that all swaps be reported to 
an SDR will reduce the burden imposed by the rule by facilitating 
efficient, electronic reconciliation for SDs, MSPs, and their 
counterparties. Accordingly, the two requirements are consistent and 
mutually reinforcing.
4. Frequency of Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  23.502(b)
    Proposed Sec.  23.502(b) required SDs and MSPs to reconcile swap 
portfolios with other SDs or MSPs with the following frequency: Daily 
for portfolios consisting of 300 or more swaps, at least weekly for 
portfolios consisting of 50 to 300 swaps, and at least quarterly for 
portfolios consisting of fewer than 50 swaps. For portfolios with 
counterparties other than SDs or MSPs, the proposed regulations 
required SDs and MSPs to establish policies and procedures for 
reconciling swap portfolios: Daily for swap portfolios consisting of 
500 or more swaps, weekly for portfolios consisting of more than 100 
but fewer than 500 swaps, and at least quarterly for portfolios 
consisting of fewer than 100 swaps.
    Several commenters supported the frequency of reconciliation 
required by the proposed rule. Chris Barnard supported the frequency of 
the proposed reconciliation requirements, while TriOptima stated that a 
large number of SDs and MSPs already regularly reconcile their 
portfolios with each other and with other entities and that the 
increased frequency and inclusion of smaller portfolios as proposed 
should prove no obstacle to such entities.
    However, several commenters recommended alternatives. ISDA 
recommended that the Commission accept the portfolio size/frequency 
gradation established by the ODSG process, as that may change over 
time, which ISDA believes provides an internationally consistent and 
flexible standard. ISDA does not believe the proposed rule should 
distinguish between counterparty types for determining frequency of 
reconciliation because transaction population is an adequate guide. The 
Working Group argued that the frequency of portfolio reconciliation 
should be left up to the counterparties because they have the 
sophistication necessary to determine whether and with what frequency 
reconciliation is required in their own circumstances, which may be 
daily, weekly, upon discovery of a dispute, or not at all. In the 
alternative, The Working Group recommended that portfolio 
reconciliation be required quarterly with any counterparty with which a 
registrant has more than 100 swaps, and annually with all other

[[Page 55928]]

counterparties. Finally, Chatham recommended that the Commission revise 
the proposed rules to provide that reconciliation with end users is 
only required for swaps with maturities greater than one year and at 
the following frequency: Weekly for portfolios of 500 or more swaps; 
quarterly for portfolios of 100 to 500 swaps; annually for portfolios 
of 50 to 100 swaps; and optional reconciliation for portfolios of 50 or 
less swaps.
    Still other commenters objected more generally to the required 
frequency of reconciliation. Dominion argued that the rule should not 
override any contractual right that end users may have regarding 
reconciliation, including frequency and the process for resolving 
disputes, while AMG argued that reconciliation required under the 
proposed rules is unnecessarily frequent and imposes excessive costs 
that do not bear a reasonable relationship to the systemic risk goals 
of the Dodd-Frank Act.
    Finally, the OCC stated that many SDs will not be among the G-14 
largest OTC derivatives dealers and, given the incremental progression 
that was necessary for the G-14 OTC derivatives dealers to develop the 
infrastructure necessary to increase reconciliation amongst themselves 
from weekly reconciliation for portfolios with 5,000 or more trades in 
2008 to the current daily reconciliation for portfolios of 500 or more 
trades, the Commission should provide sufficient time for all 
registrants to develop required infrastructure.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission is modifying the 
proposed rule to require daily reconciliation of swap portfolios among 
SDs and MSPs only for swap portfolios of 500 or more swaps. The 
Commission continues to believe that the requirement that all swaps be 
reported to an SDR will lead to efficient, electronic reconciliation 
for SDs and MSPs, but, at the urging of commenters, has reduced the 
required frequency of reconciliation to match the frequency of 
reconciliation currently undertaken by the largest prospective SDs.\35\ 
In addition, the daily reconciliation requirement for swap portfolios 
among SDs and MSPs of 500 or more swaps brings the rule into 
conformance with international regulatory efforts.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ In December 2008, the ODSG's group of 14 major dealers 
committed to execute daily portfolio reconciliations for 
collateralized portfolios in excess of 500 trades between 
participating dealers by June of 2009. See June 2, 2009 summary of 
industry commitments, available at http://www.isda.org/c_and_a/pdf/060209table.pdf. As of May 2009, all participating dealers were 
satisfying this commitment. The ODSG dealers expanded their 
portfolio reconciliation commitment in March 2010 to include monthly 
reconciliation of collateralized portfolios in excess of 1,000 
trades with any counterparty.
    \36\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 2 RM, 
subsection 4, (stating that ``In order to identify at an early 
stage, any discrepancy in a material term of the OTC derivative 
contract, including its valuation, the portfolio reconciliation 
shall be performed: * * * each business day when the counterparties 
have 500 or more OTC derivative contracts outstanding with each 
other; * * * once per month for a portfolio of fewer than 300 OTC 
derivative contracts outstanding with a counterparty; * * * once per 
week for a portfolio between 300 and 499 OTC derivative contracts 
outstanding with a counterparty.'')
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    For portfolios with counterparties other than SDs or MSPs, the 
Commission is adopting the recommendation proposed by The Working 
Group--that portfolio reconciliation be required quarterly with any 
counterparty with which a registrant has more than 100 swaps, and 
annually with all other counterparties. The Commission believes this 
approach is largely consistent with that recommended by Chatham, and it 
responds, in part, to concerns expressed by AMG. The Commission 
believes it also will serve to lower the costs of the rule. Despite 
this change in the frequency of reconciliation required for portfolios 
with non-SD, non-MSP counterparties, the Commission reiterates its 
belief that periodic reconciliation with all counterparties is a best 
practice for those using swaps.
    In response to Dominion's concern about the rule overriding 
contractual rights of market participants, the Commission wishes to 
clarify that parties are free to negotiate and elect whatever dispute 
resolution mechanisms they so choose. The reconciliation rule merely 
sets forth the minimum requirements and timing for reconciliation of 
swap portfolios. The rule is not intended to override contractual 
rights so long as SDs and MSPs are in compliance with these limited 
provisions.
5. Exchange of Swap Data for Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  23.500(i) 
& Sec.  23.502(b)
    The preamble to the proposed regulations stated that portfolio 
reconciliation could consist of one party reviewing the trade details 
and valuations delivered by the other party and either affirming or 
objecting to such details and valuations. MarkitSERV recommended that 
the Commission clarify the circumstances in which both parties would be 
required to exchange swap data and circumstances in which only one 
party would be required to send swap data to its counterparty for 
verification. Consistent with its prior statement, the Commission 
prefers to permit maximum flexibility and innovation in the process and 
thus will leave the circumstances of exchange or verification to the 
discretion of SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties.
6. Portfolio Reconciliation With Non-SDs/MSPs--Sec.  23.502
    The proposed regulation required SDs and MSPs to establish written 
policies and procedures for engaging in portfolio reconciliation with 
non-SDs and non-MSPs, which includes the reconciliation of valuations 
for each swap in the parties' portfolio.
    Commenting on the proposal, MarkitSERV stated that buy-side firms 
view valuation data as private information. To allow for 
confidentiality, MarkitSERV recommends that the Commission permit non-
SDs and non-MSPs to perform portfolio reconciliation via third parties 
in a process that would only disclose valuation data when a discrepancy 
exceeds the threshold set forth in the proposed rules.
    Dominion asserted that section 4s(i) of the CEA required the 
Commission to adopt regulations for netting and valuation for SDs and 
MSPs, but not end users, and objects that the proposed rules require 
SDs and MSPs to establish policies for reconciliation with end users 
and for resolution of valuation disputes with end users in a timely 
fashion. Dominion is concerned that an end user will be required to 
provide SDs with proprietary market valuations that could be used 
against the interests of the end user. Dominion therefore recommended 
that the Commission clarify that an SD's or MSP's written procedures 
may not require end users to disclose any proprietary market 
information for purposes of dispute resolution.
    The FHLBs argued that end users should not be subject to the same 
reconciliation requirements as SDs and MSPs because the swap portfolios 
of end users do not pose a significant risk to the overall financial 
system and the reconciliation requirements may increase the costs of 
swaps for end users. Chatham similarly argued that non-SDs and non-MSPs 
using swaps to hedge risk do not pose systemic risk so daily or weekly 
reconciliation is not necessary.
    As discussed above, the Commission is modifying the proposed rule 
to change the word ``enforce'' to ``follow.'' Based on commenters' 
concerns that an SD or MSP cannot force a non-registrant to abide by 
the portfolio reconciliation requirements, the Commission is further 
modifying the proposed rule to require

[[Page 55929]]

only that SDs and MSPs establish policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to ensure that they engage in portfolio reconciliation with 
non-registrants with the modified frequency discussed above. The 
Commission believes that ``reasonably designed to ensure'' is not the 
same as requiring a guarantee of compliance. Therefore, the Commission 
believes that the rule, as modified, would require that the SDs and 
MSPs make reasonable efforts to engage in portfolio reconciliation with 
non-registrants, but would not give SDs or MSPs the authority to 
require it of their non-registrant counterparties.
    In addition, the Commission is modifying the proposed rule to 
clarify that discrepancies in material terms or valuation disputes that 
become known to the parties before the quarterly or annual 
reconciliation with non-SDs, non-MSPs, should be resolved in a timely 
fashion. With this change, the Commission notes that non-SD, non-MSP 
counterparties may bring a discrepancy or dispute to an SD's or MSP's 
attention and the SD or MSP counterparty must work to resolve those 
identified discrepancies and disputes.
7. Portfolio Reconciliation With DCOs for Cleared Swaps--Sec.  
23.502(c)
    The proposed regulations stated that the portfolio reconciliation 
requirements will not apply to swaps cleared by a DCO.
    With respect to this provision, MarkitSERV recommended that the 
Commission require SDs and MSPs to regularly reconcile their positions 
in cleared swaps against SDRs, DCOs, and clearing brokers to correct 
discrepancies between the DCO record and a firm's internal records.
    The Commission has determined not to follow MarkitSERV's 
recommendation on this point. DCOs maintain the definitive record of 
the positions of each of their clearing members (both house and 
customer) and mark those positions to a settlement price at least once 
a day.\37\ Accordingly, the Commission believes that cleared swaps do 
not present the same documentation and valuation issues that uncleared 
swaps do. The Commission notes that reconciliation of swap data between 
DCOs and SDRs is beyond the scope of this rulemaking, which is adopting 
regulations with respect to SDs and MSPs only.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Under typical DCO rules, clearing members are bound by the 
settlement price of the DCO and the product specifications of 
cleared swaps are set by the DCO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. Portfolio Reconciliation by ``Qualified Third Parties''--Sec.  
23.502(b)
    The proposed regulations permitted portfolio reconciliation to be 
performed on behalf of SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties by a 
qualified third party.
    Commenting on this proposal, ABC & CIEBA and AMG separately 
recommended that the Commission not require use of ``qualified'' third 
parties for portfolio reconciliation, but, rather should explicitly 
require that use of any third party service provider must be agreed by 
both parties and recognize that each party may use a different third 
party for reconciliation. Specifically, ABC & CIEBA recommended that 
Sec.  23.502(b)(1) and (2) be revised to read as follows:

``(1) Each swap dealer or major swap participant shall agree in 
writing with each of its counterparties on the terms of the 
portfolio reconciliation, including agreement on the selection of 
any third party.
    (2) The portfolio reconciliation may be performed on a bilateral 
basis by the counterparties or by one or more third parties selected 
by the counterparties in accordance with Sec.  23.502(b)(1).''

    In response to these comments, the Commission is modifying the 
proposed rule to delete the word ``qualified,'' to require that the use 
of a third-party service provider be subject to agreement of the 
parties, and to provide that each party may use a different third party 
so long as the provisions of the rule are met. Further, per AMG's 
comments, the Commission expects that parties will determine if the 
third-party is qualified based on their own policies.
9. Reconciliation Discrepancy Resolution Procedures--Sec.  23.502(b)(4)
    The proposed regulations required that SDs and MSPs establish 
procedures reasonably designed to resolve any discrepancies in the 
material terms or valuation of each swap identified in the portfolio 
reconciliation process.
    Commenting on this aspect of the proposal, ABC & CIEBA recommended 
that the Commission revise Sec.  23.502(b)(4) in order to ensure that 
reconciliation dispute resolution by SDs and MSPs is fair, impartial, 
and even-handed.
    The Commission agrees that reconciliation dispute resolution should 
be fair, impartial, and even-handed as recommended by ABC & CIEBA, but 
believes that the commenter's concern will be addressed by deleting the 
word ``enforce'' as discussed above. The Commission expects that SDs 
and MSPs will cooperate with their counterparties and any applicable 
third-party service provider in resolving discrepancies brought to 
light through portfolio reconciliation.
10. Time Period for Resolution of Discrepancies in Material Terms--
Sec.  23.502(a)(4) & (b)(4)
    With regard to portfolio reconciliation among SDs and MSPs, the 
proposed regulations required that any discrepancy in material terms be 
resolved immediately.
    Freddie Mac stated that in some cases it may be impossible to 
resolve a discrepancy in material terms immediately, as required under 
Sec.  23.502(a)(4). Freddie Mac recommended that the Commission should 
revise the proposed rules to provide that the timely and accurate 
processing and valuation requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act will be 
deemed satisfied whenever swaps are subject to a master netting 
agreement and collateral pledge agreement under which the parties mark 
net portfolio value to market and exchange collateral on the basis of 
such valuation as promptly as commercially reasonable.
    Having considered Freddie Mac's comment, the Commission is adopting 
the rule as proposed with respect to immediate resolution of 
discrepancies in material terms in swaps among SDs and MSPs. Given the 
timely confirmation requirements of all terms of a swap as established 
under Sec.  23.501, the Commission believes an immediate resolution of 
any material term discrepancy is appropriate. Additionally, the 
Commission believes that a longer period is not justified because 
resolution of a discrepancy in a material term will likely require an 
amendment of the trade record in the relevant SDR, which, for 
regulatory oversight purposes, should be as accurate as possible.
11. Resolution of Valuation Disputes in Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  
23.502(a)(5) & (b)(4)
    With regard to portfolio reconciliation among SDs and MSPs, the 
proposed regulations required that any discrepancy in the valuation of 
a swap be resolved within one business day. With regard to portfolio 
reconciliation between SDs or MSPs and non-registrants, the proposed 
regulations required that SDs and MSPs have policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to resolve any discrepancy in the valuation of a 
swap in a timely fashion.
    With respect to this aspect of the proposal, ISDA commented that 
parties to a good-faith dispute should have a commercially reasonable 
timeframe in which to consult in order to find an

[[Page 55930]]

appropriate resolution of the dispute. ISDA believes the draft 2011 
Convention on Portfolio Reconciliation and the Investigation of 
Disputed Margin Calls and the draft 2011 Formal Market Polling 
Procedure, developed pursuant to industry commitments to the ODSG, 
which ISDA believes will be widely adopted by OTC derivatives market 
participants, should play a more significant role in shaping the 
proposed reconciliation rules. The Working Group, the FHLBs, and AMG 
also recommended that the Commission support the valuation dispute 
resolution methodology sponsored by ISDA.
    In addition to its general comments, ISDA made specific 
recommendations:
     Resolution is labor intensive and to avoid undue costs, 
discrepancies in terms and valuations should only require resolution if 
such are causing material portfolio-level collateral transfer disputes, 
rather than on a transaction by transaction basis, as it allows for the 
possibility that material but offsetting differences may exist in a 
portfolio.
     Again to avoid undue costs, a materiality standard should 
apply to any mandated resolution requirement, because, in the absence 
of a collateralization requirement or a live dispute as to 
collateralization, discrepancies in valuation may be allowed to subsist 
as potentially harmless and may disappear through changes in portfolio 
composition over time. ISDA recommends that the ODSG resolution 
tolerances be adopted by the Commission, as such tolerances may be 
amended over time.
     Resolution of a valuation dispute should mean that the 
discrepancy in a portfolio-level margin dispute is reduced such that it 
is within the applicable resolution tolerance, rather than requiring 
exact agreement.
     Resolution of a valuation dispute should not require 
parties to make adjustments to their books and records.
     Parties should be free to agree to accept that there is a 
difference in opinion as to value, so long as appropriate capital is 
held against any potential collateral shortfall.
    With respect to the proposal to require valuation disputes to be 
resolved within one business day, ISDA stated that a one-day timeframe 
for resolution of valuation discrepancies is infeasible, especially 
when applied to parties across vastly different global time zones, due 
to the need to analyze reconciliation results, escalate for trader-to-
trader discussion or to senior management. Further, ISDA argued that 
some disputes prove to be intractable and must be resolved through a 
market poll, which requires time to build and populate a valuation 
model, which may take hours or even days. AMG also argued that the time 
periods are unnecessarily short and do not bear a reasonable 
relationship to the systemic risk goals of the Dodd-Frank Act, noting 
that the time periods are not consistent with recent ISDA dispute 
resolution protocols or other methodologies incorporated in master 
agreements, and could impose excessive costs on swap market 
participants.
    AMG recommended that the Commission clarify the consequences of 
failing to resolve a valuation dispute within the mandated timeframe. 
Freddie Mac stated that in some cases it may be impossible to resolve a 
discrepancy in valuation within one business day, while BGA does not 
believe that registrants should be penalized for failing to meet the 
one business day resolution deadline. BGA argued that (i) SDs and MSPs 
do not have control over their counterparties so resolution may take 
more than a day; and (ii) a hard deadline may disadvantage SDs and MSPs 
in negotiating a resolution with a counterparty that is not subject to 
a deadline. Finally, The Working Group argued that the proposed 
requirement that valuation disputes between registrants be resolved 
within one business day is not workable due to the complex calculations 
required, involvement of multiple functional groups within a 
registrant, and possibility that resolution of a dispute may require 
modifications to a valuation model that could create further 
discrepancies for other swaps that are valued using the same model. The 
Working Group believes the Commission should require only that 
registrants begin the valuation dispute resolution process upon 
discovery of a dispute, but permit counterparties to resolve the 
dispute within a reasonable time period.
    The FHLBs requested that the Commission specify the meaning of ``in 
a timely fashion'' as it relates to discrepancy resolution with end 
users.
    The Working Group also had a number of recommendations with respect 
to the proposed rule:
     The Commission should not adopt valuation dispute 
resolution rules that may be burdensome for markets where no problem 
exists, such as swap markets with underlying physical markets that 
provide an objective basis for swap valuations.
     The proposed reconciliation rules should apply only to 
valuation disputes on a portfolio basis, and not on a transaction 
basis, as it would be unnecessarily burdensome to analyze the valuation 
of individual swaps unless there is a material dispute as to the 
portfolio level exposure between the parties.
     Parties should have the right to continue to exchange 
collateral without resolving a discrepancy exceeding 10 percent if they 
conclude that the discrepancy is not material in their particular 
circumstances.
    With respect to the proposed 10 percent threshold before a dispute 
would require resolution, Chatham argued that a percentage threshold of 
10 percent difference is insufficient because it will impose a 
significant burden in cases where the absolute value of the swap is 
small, such as just after a swap is executed and in the period just 
before maturity. MFA also recommended that the Commission revise the 
proposed rule to provide that a valuation discrepancy must not only 
exceed 10 percent, but must also exceed some reasonable dollar 
threshold, and must result in one party being unwilling to satisfy a 
collateral call from the other party. On the other hand, MetLife 
supported the 10 percent buffer for designation of valuation 
discrepancies, but recommended that the Commission extend the deadline 
for valuation dispute resolution from 1 to at least 3 business days 
with respect to highly structured and customized swaps.
    TriOptima provided context with respect to valuation dispute 
resolution in the swaps market. TriOptima commented that swaps are 
valued using internal models, which use inputs derived from observable 
sources or internal calculations and reflect a party's view on the 
market; that for many swaps, there is only sparse or episodic liquidity 
in similar contracts, which can be used to calibrate internal valuation 
models; and that there is valuable information for regulators in a 
spectrum of differing valuations of a swap. As an example, TriOptima 
hypothesized that regulators could have had an early warning sign in 
the run up to the 2008 financial crisis when some market participants 
realized earlier than others that the price of credit risk was too low 
and raised the price in their internal valuations as opposed to 
counterparties that did not recognize the change in credit risk. With 
respect to the proposal, TriOptima argued that forcing convergence on 
swap valuations between parties could be detrimental to the stability 
and resilience of the financial system by creating a disincentive for 
firms to use their own judgment in setting market values, removing a 
valuable diagnostic tool for regulators. TriOptima further stated that 
there is a difference between an internal

[[Page 55931]]

valuation used for regulatory capital purposes and a valuation agreed 
with a counterparty for use in calculating margin. If the agreed 
valuation is lower than the internal valuation, a party must reserve 
capital for the unsecured exposure. Therefore, TriOptima argued that if 
the Commission requires the parties to agree on a valuation for 
internal purposes, the unsecured exposure disappears and less capital 
will be reserved, reducing stability and resilience in the financial 
markets. TriOptima recommended that the Commission focus on 
establishing principles for how to determine the margining amount on a 
portfolio level, rather than forcing parties to agree on valuation of 
individual transactions, with a key element in such principles being 
consistency. For valuation differences that persist after excluding 
errors and inconsistencies, TriOptima believes the parties should be 
allowed to agree to disagree and face the credit risk and capital 
consequences of having unsecured exposures.
    The Commission recognizes the view that there is valuable 
information for market participants and regulators in a spectrum of 
differing valuations of a swap. The Commission also is cognizant of the 
ongoing efforts by industry and ISDA to improve the existing valuation 
dispute resolution process. Based on meetings between Commission staff 
and ISDA's Collateral Steering Committee, the Commission understands 
that ISDA's draft 2011 Convention on Portfolio Reconciliation and the 
Investigation of Disputed Margin Calls and the draft 2011 Formal Market 
Polling Procedure has reduced valuation dispute resolution to a 30-day 
process.
    Issues related to swap valuations are woven through a number of 
Commission rule proposals. For instance, Sec.  23.504(e), as adopted in 
this release, requires SDs and MSPs to report valuation disputes in 
excess of $20,000,000 lasting longer than three business days to the 
Commission, while under Sec.  23.504(b)(4) SDs and MSPs are required to 
agree on valuation methodologies with their counterparties. The 
Commission believes that by requiring agreement with each counterparty 
on the methods and inputs for valuation of each swap, it is expected 
that Sec.  23.504(b)(4) will assist SDs and MSPs to resolve valuation 
disputes in a timely manner, thereby reducing risk.
    Agreement between SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties on the proper 
daily valuation of the swaps in their swap portfolio also is essential 
for the Commission's margin proposal. As discussed above, under 
proposed rule Sec.  23.151, non-bank SDs and MSPs must document the 
process by which they will arrive at a valuation for each swap for the 
purpose of collecting initial and variation margin. All non-bank SDs 
and MSPs must collect variation margin from their non-bank SD, MSP, and 
financial entity counterparties for uncleared swaps on a daily basis. 
Variation margin requires a daily valuation for each swap. For swaps 
between non-bank SDs and MSPs and non-financial entities, no margin is 
required to be exchanged under Commission regulation, but the non-bank 
SDs and MSPs must calculate a hypothetical variation margin requirement 
for each uncleared swap for risk management purposes under proposed 
Sec.  23.154(b)(6).
    Given that arriving at a daily valuation is one of the building 
blocks for the margin rules and is essential for the mitigation of risk 
posed by swaps, the Commission expects that SDs and MSPs as a matter of 
best practice will work to resolve valuation disputes for swaps with 
other SDs and MSPs within one business day. However, the Commission is 
modifying this provision to require that valuation disputes be subject 
to policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that such 
disputes are resolved within five business days, as discussed further 
below. The Commission has determined to make no change to the 
requirement that valuation disputes between SDs, MSPs, and non-SDs or 
non-MSPs be subject to policies and procedures reasonably designed to 
ensure that such disputes are resolved ``in a timely fashion.''
    The Commission is persuaded by commenters that some valuation 
disputes may be difficult to resolve within the one-day timeframe and 
is therefore modifying the rule such that it no longer requires 
resolution, but instead requires that SDs and MSPs establish procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that swap valuation disputes are resolved 
within five business days.\38\ Thus SDs and MSPs will not violate the 
rule if they fail to resolve a particular dispute within five business 
days, so long as they have followed their reasonably designed 
procedures. In addition, the rule will require SDs and MSPs to have 
policies and procedures identifying how they will comply with any 
variation margin requirements pending resolution of a valuation 
dispute. The rule already requires SDs and MSPs to establish procedures 
to resolve valuation disputes with non-SD/MSP counterparties in a 
timely fashion.
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    \38\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 4 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that ``counterparties shall, when concluding 
OTC derivative contracts with each other have agreed detailed 
procedures and processes in relation to * * * resolution of disputes 
in a timely manner; * * * resolution of disputes that are not 
resolved within five business days, including third party 
arbitration or a market polling mechanism.'')
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    Regarding the safe harbor for valuation differences of less than 10 
percent, the Commission believes the 10 percent threshold is 
appropriate as it provides certainty as to which disputes must be 
resolved. The Commission believes the efficiency of a bright line rule, 
as opposed to the formulas and discretion in the alternatives presented 
by commenters, will better serve the operational processes of SDs and 
MSPs and the regulatory oversight of the Commission.
12. Reporting of Valuation Disputes to the Commission
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to keep records of 
valuation disputes and the time to resolution of such disputes, but did 
not require SDs or MSPs to report such disputes to the Commission. 
However, as noted by the New York City Bar Committee on Futures and 
Derivatives (NYCB), proposed Sec.  23.504(e) required valuation 
disputes among SDs and MSPs outstanding for more than one business day, 
or five business days for disputes between an SD or MSP and a non-SD, 
non-MSP counterparty to be reported to the Commission.
    In this regard, ISDA recommended that the Commission require 
monthly reporting of margin disputes outstanding more than 15 days that 
exceed the applicable tolerances, which is consistent with current ODSG 
commitments. MetLife recommended a period of 90 days before reporting 
is required.
    As discussed above, the Commission is modifying this provision to 
require reporting within three business days, and it has added a 
$20,000,000 threshold for reporting of disputes. The Commission 
believes the less frequent reporting provided by the threshold will 
alleviate the concerns of the commenters.\39\
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    \39\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 4 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that ``counterparties shall report to the 
competent authority * * * any disputes between counterparties 
relating to an OTC derivative contract, its valuation or the 
exchange of collateral for an amount or a value higher than EUR 15 
million and outstanding for at least 15 business days.'')

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[[Page 55932]]

13. Recordkeeping Requirement for Portfolio Reconciliation--Sec.  
23.502(d)
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to make and retain a 
record of each portfolio reconciliation, including a record of each 
discrepancy and the time to resolution of each discrepancy.
    ISDA objected to the recordkeeping requirement for portfolio 
reconciliation, arguing that it should consist only of disputes, and 
not of the entire process. Specifically, ISDA recommended that records 
be kept of the date of the initial dispute, the resolution of the 
dispute, the date of resolution, and the net portfolio valuations of 
the two parties. Further, ISDA requested an explicit statement that 
access to third party reconciliation services' records will satisfy the 
obligation to permit inspection of the records by supervisors. 
Similarly, The Working Group requested that the Commission clarify that 
the records required to be kept in relation to valuation dispute 
resolution pertain only to discrepancies that exceed the 10 percent 
buffer.
    The Commission notes that its recordkeeping rule for SDs and MSPs 
includes a recordkeeping requirement that SDs and MSPs make and keep a 
record of each portfolio reconciliation, including the number of 
portfolio reconciliation discrepancies and the number of swap valuation 
disputes (including the time-to-resolution of each valuation dispute 
and the age of outstanding valuation disputes, categorized by 
transaction and counterparty).\40\ In the interests of streamlining 
regulatory requirements, the Commission is modifying Sec.  23.502(d) to 
cross reference Sec.  23.202 and delete the substantive requirements. 
The Commission has also revised the cross-reference to Sec.  1.31 to a 
cross-reference to the SD and MSP record retention rule, Sec.  23.203.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ See 17 CFR 23.202(a)(3)(iii), Reporting, Recordkeeping, and 
Daily Trading Records Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap 
Participants, 77 FR 20128, 20201 (April 3, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to comments of ISDA and The Working Group, the 
Commission believes that the level of detail included in portfolio 
reconciliation records is left to the reasonable discretion of SDs and 
MSPs so long as the basic requirements of the rule are met.

F. Portfolio Compression--Sec.  23.503

    Section 4s(i) of the CEA directs the Commission to prescribe 
regulations for the timely and accurate processing and netting of all 
swaps entered into by swap dealers and major swap participants. 
Portfolio compression is an important, post-trade processing and 
netting mechanism that can be an effective and efficient tool for the 
timely and accurate processing and netting of swaps by market 
participants. Portfolio compression is a mechanism whereby 
substantially similar transactions among two or more counterparties are 
terminated and replaced with a smaller number of transactions of 
decreased notional value in an effort to reduce the risk, cost, and 
inefficiency of maintaining unnecessary transactions on the 
counterparties' books. Because portfolio compression participants are 
permitted to establish their own credit, market, and cash payment risk 
tolerances and to establish their own mark-to-market values for the 
transactions to be compressed, the process does not alter the risk 
profiles of the individual participants beyond a level acceptable to 
the participant. The usefulness of portfolio compression as a risk 
management tool has been acknowledged widely.
    In 2008, the PWG identified frequent portfolio compression of 
outstanding trades as a key policy objective in the effort to 
strengthen the OTC derivatives market infrastructure.\41\ Similarly, 
the 2010 staff report outlining policy perspectives on OTC derivatives 
infrastructure issued by the FRBNY identified trade compression as an 
element of strong risk management and recommended that market 
participants engage in regular, market-wide portfolio compression 
exercises.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ See ``Policy Objectives for the OTC Derivatives Markets,'' 
President's Working Group on Financial Markets (Nov. 14, 2008).
    \42\ See Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 424: 
``Policy Perspectives on OTC Derivatives Market Infrastructure,'' 
Jan. 2010 (revised Mar. 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based upon these considerations, the Commission proposed Sec.  
23.503, which imposed certain portfolio compression requirements upon 
SDs and MSPs. The Commission received numerous comments to the 
portfolio compression proposal and considered each in formulating the 
final rules, as discussed below.
1. Statutory Basis for Portfolio Compression
    The proposed portfolio compression regulations were proposed 
pursuant to section 4s(i) of the CEA, which directs the Commission to 
prescribe regulations for the timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps entered 
into by SDs and MSPs.
    Commenting on the proposal, ISDA stated that the portfolio 
compression requirements lack an explicit statutory basis in the Dodd-
Frank Act, and should be left to the judgment of market participants. 
Likewise, The Working Group stated that section 731 of the Dodd-Frank 
Act does not require the Commission to issue rules on portfolio 
compression and believes the final rules should not include portfolio 
compression requirements.
    In response to these comments, section 4s(i) of the CEA clearly 
authorizes the Commission to prescribe standards for the netting of 
swaps. As explained in the Confirmation NPRM, portfolio compression is 
a post-trade processing and netting mechanism whereby substantially 
similar transactions among two or more counterparties are terminated 
and replaced with a smaller number of transactions of decreased 
notional value.
2. Definition of ``Multilateral Portfolio Compression Exercise''--Sec.  
23.500(h)
    The proposed regulations defined ``multilateral portfolio 
compression exercise'' as an exercise in which multiple swap 
counterparties wholly or partially terminate some or all of the swaps 
outstanding among those counterparties and replace the swaps with a 
smaller number of swaps whose combined notional value is less than the 
combined notional value of the original swaps included in the exercise. 
The replacement swaps may be with the same or different counterparties.
    With respect to this definition, TriOptima commented that the 
proposed definition of ``multilateral portfolio compression exercise'' 
is too narrow and recommends that the Commission revise the definition 
to read: ``an exercise in which multiple swap counterparties wholly 
terminate or change the notional value of some or all of the swaps 
submitted by the counterparties for inclusion in the portfolio 
compression and, depending on the methodology employed, replace the 
terminated swaps with other swaps whose combined notional value (or 
some other measures of risk) is less than the combined notional value 
(or some other measure of risk) of the terminated swaps in the 
compression exercise.'' ISDA recommended the same changes as those 
recommended by TriOptima for the same reasons.
    Based on the explanations of commenters, the Commission is 
persuaded that the proposed definition was unnecessarily narrow and the 
Commission has accordingly modified the definition of ``multilateral 
portfolio compression exercise'' in the manner recommended by 
commenters. In addition, for the sake of consistency, the

[[Page 55933]]

definition of ``bilateral portfolio compression exercise'' has also 
been modified in a consistent manner.
3. Mandatory Portfolio Compression--Sec.  23.503
    The proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to engage in 
bilateral and multilateral portfolio compression exercises with respect 
to all swaps in which their counterparty is also an SD or MSP. In 
contrast, the proposed regulations required SDs and MSPs to establish 
policies and procedures for engaging in portfolio compression with swap 
counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs.
    On this issue, The Working Group argued that portfolio compression 
is only beneficial in markets where there is a high degree of 
transaction standardization and a high volume of redundant trades, and 
therefore recommended that the Commission only impose mandatory 
compression exercises on markets where the ratio of gross market value 
to notional size (which is a rough estimation of the level of redundant 
trades) shows that the benefits of compression outweigh the substantial 
cost of engaging in the exercise. The Working Group also recommended 
that the Commission not impose mandatory compression in markets where 
compression platforms have not yet been designed, tested, and approved 
by the Commission.
    Markit pointed out that portfolio compression was recently 
attempted in the commodities and foreign exchange asset classes, but 
was not pursued further because the trial cycles had limited success, 
and is concerned that mandatory participation under the proposed rules 
might lead to compression for a range of uncleared swaps where the 
potential benefits do not justify the cost of the exercise, 
particularly for the large number of potential SDs and MSPs that 
currently do not participate in compression cycles. Costs identified by 
Markit include changes to participant's risk systems and connectivity 
enhancements that would allow for the booking and processing of a large 
volume of swaps (thousands) in as short a period as a single day. 
Markit recommended an alternative to the proposal in which the 
Commission would establish thresholds for determining whether a 
category of non-cleared swaps should be subject to any mandatory 
compression exercise and the frequency of such exercises. Markit 
believes such thresholds should be related to the minimum number of 
swaps, number of participants, number of swaps per participant, amount 
of ongoing trading activity, degree of standardization in the product, 
and the notional amount of transactions that must be compressed.
    With respect to compression between SDs and MSPs and non-SDs, non-
MSPs, Markit believes that there will be no noteworthy benefit from 
requiring non-dealer counterparties to participate in portfolio 
compression exercises for uncleared swaps, as such entities have 
portfolios with a very small number of offsetting transactions and 
often have complicated arrangements with prime brokers making 
compression more difficult and costly.
    Freddie Mac commented that mandatory portfolio compression should 
be limited to swaps that match and offset cash flows exactly, and that 
any compression requirement allow for exceptions for end users relying 
on swaps for hedging purposes or that otherwise believe the termination 
of an existing swap would have an adverse effect on remaining trades.
    Providing the view of a portfolio compression vendor, TriOptima 
stated that for many smaller institutions and for larger institutions 
trading illiquid swaps, the net to gross ratio of a portfolio is 
sometimes close to 100 percent, meaning that all swaps in the portfolio 
are in the same market-risk direction. TriOptima argued that it would 
not be productive for such institutions to take part in multilateral 
compression as many transactions designated as hedges for accounting 
purposes must be excluded from compression, and either no transactions 
could be compressed or the resulting notional reduction would be 
minimal. TriOptima therefore recommended that the Commission remove any 
mandatory compression requirement from the proposed rule and instead 
focus on creating incentives for institutions to take part in portfolio 
compression. TriOptima noted that most capital requirements are based 
on net risk positions and therefore recommended that the Commission 
create capital or other incentives to reduce gross risk positions.
    Based on the comments received, the Commission has concluded that 
it may be premature to require SDs and MSPs to engage in mandatory 
bilateral and multilateral compression exercises for all asset classes 
at this time. Although the Commission agrees with Markit's comment that 
compression opportunities should be based on an analysis of the market, 
including the number of swaps, number of participants, number of swaps 
per participant, amount of ongoing trading activity, degree of 
standardization in the product, and the notional amount of transactions 
that could be compressed, it does not foresee that it will have the 
resources to make such a determination or to set thresholds for 
mandatory compression. In addition, as discussed more fully below, the 
Commission is modifying the bilateral offset requirement for swaps 
between SDs and MSPs that are ``fully offsetting.''
    Accordingly, the Commission has modified the proposed rules to 
remove the mandatory bilateral and multilateral compression 
requirements and has replaced them with a requirement that SDs and MSPs 
establish policies and procedures for periodically engaging in 
portfolio compression exercises with counterparties that are also SDs 
or MSPs and for engaging in portfolio compression with all other 
counterparties upon request.\43\ In this regard, the Commission 
anticipates that in order to be in compliance with the rule, an SD's or 
MSP's policies and procedures would include procedures for engaging in 
periodic evaluation of compression opportunities, written policies 
establishing when the SD or MSP would consider a compression 
opportunity to be materially beneficial, and procedures for engaging in 
those opportunities when such arise. These policies and procedures 
would also be required to address how the SD and MSP would determine 
which swaps to include and exclude from compression exercises and what 
risk tolerances it would accept.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 3 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that ``counterparties with 500 or more OTC 
derivative contracts outstanding which are not centrally cleared 
shall have procedures to regularly, and at least twice a year, 
analyse the possibility to conduct a portfolio compression exercise 
in order to reduce their counterparty credit risk and engage in such 
portfolio compression exercise.'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission has also modified the rule to clarify that (1) non-
SDs/MSPs are not required to engage in portfolio compression exercises 
with SDs and MSPs, but (2) that SDs and MSPs must engage in portfolio 
compression exercises with non-SDs/MSPs upon request.
    As further support for the modifications, the Commission notes that 
in the proposed DCO rules, the Commission proposed that DCOs must offer 
multilateral compression, but the final DCO rule provided that 
participation in compression exercises by clearing members and their 
customers would be voluntary.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ See 17 CFR 39.13(h)(4), Derivatives Clearing Organization 
General Provisions and Core Principles, 76 FR 69334, 69383 (Nov. 8, 
2011).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 55934]]

4. Swaps Eligible for Compression--Sec.  23.503
    Proposed Sec.  23.503 required SDs and MSPs to include all swaps in 
their compression exercises with other SDs and MSPs and swaps with 
other counterparties to the extent that the swaps are able to be 
terminated through a portfolio compression exercise.
    With respect to this aspect of the proposal, BlackRock recommended 
that the Commission revise the proposed compression rules to more fully 
promote the compression of substantially similar, but not fully 
offsetting, swaps.
    The Commission believes that the concerns underlying BlackRock's 
comment is addressed by the changes to the proposed rule as discussed 
above, specifically the modification requiring SDs and MSPs to engage 
in compression with non-SDs and non-MSPs at the request of such 
parties. The Commission believes it is prudent to permit the parties to 
agree on the method and venue of compression, rather than having the 
Commission prescribe the method and venue.
5. Application of Portfolio Compression to Non-SD/MSPs
    In the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission requested comment on 
whether it should require SDs and MSPs to engage in compression 
exercises with counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs. The Commission 
also requested comment on whether financial entities as defined in 
proposed Sec.  23.500 should be subject to the same compression 
requirements as SDs and MSPs.
    In response to this request for comments, Markit stated that there 
will be no noteworthy benefit from requiring non-dealer counterparties 
to participate in portfolio compression exercises for uncleared swaps 
because such entities have portfolios with a very small number of 
offsetting transactions and often have complicated arrangements with 
prime brokers making compression more difficult and costly.
    ISDA also identified several issues with the proposal to apply 
compression requirements to non-SDs:
     Current portfolio compression exercises only achieve 
successful results by limiting exercises to a single asset-class and a 
relatively small and homogeneous group of participants (i.e., the G14 
dealers), which limits the difficulty and range of attendant risks.
     Multilateral compression cycles are typically managed with 
automated tools to support tear up and new trade creation that end-
users usually do not possess, and the costs of obtaining such tools 
cannot be justified by the benefits.
     The requirement for bilateral netting of swaps not covered 
by multilateral or cleared compression processes will impose onerous 
tasks with only limited benefit for end-users who engage in trades that 
are typically more bespoke.
    ABC & CIEBA commented that benefit plans should not be subject to 
the proposed portfolio compression rule because every swap of a benefit 
plan serves a business purpose and benefit plan swap portfolios contain 
no redundant positions. ABC & CIEBA also argued that benefit plans may 
have multiple investment advisers with individual mandates and 
portfolio compression could result in losses if market movements that 
had been previously hedged are undone by compression. ABC & CIEBA thus 
urged the Commission to require SDs and MSPs to obtain explicit consent 
of end user counterparties prior to compression of any swap.
    AMG, Dominion, the FHLBs, and Chatham echoed the concerns of ABC & 
CIEBA, commenting that non-SDs and non-MSPs (including financial 
entities) should not be subject to mandatory or involuntary portfolio 
compression due to legitimate reasons for offsetting, but beneficial 
swap positions, such as hedging specific assets. Thus, AMG, Dominion, 
and the FHLBs recommended that the Commission revise the proposed rules 
to require SDs and MSPs to obtain the explicit consent of its end user 
counterparties prior to compression of any swap. BlackRock recommended 
that the Commission require SDs and MSPs to engage in bilateral and 
multilateral compression exercises with counterparties that are not SDs 
or MSPs, if such parties chose to do so.
    MFA similarly recommended that portfolio compression be an option 
for end users, but not an obligation as portfolio compression is only 
appropriate for entities with portfolios large enough to yield 
meaningful benefits that outweigh the expense of a compression 
exercise. MFA further stated that end users should not be required to 
engage in multilateral portfolio compression for cleared swaps. GFED 
believes that portfolio compression is unnecessary for non-dealer end 
users as volumes are too small.
    With respect to compression with financial entities, the FHLBs 
commented that financial entities should not be subject to the same 
compression requirements as SDs and MSPs as the swap portfolios of such 
entities do not, by definition, pose a significant risk to the overall 
financial system, such requirements could have adverse effects for such 
entities because their tax and accounting treatment may differ 
significantly from those of SDs, and such requirements may discourage 
financial entities from using swaps for hedging or risk mitigation.
    Freddie Mac believes that mandatory portfolio compression should be 
limited to swaps that match and offset cash flows exactly, and that any 
compression requirement allow for exceptions for end users relying on 
swaps for hedging purposes or that otherwise believe the termination of 
an existing swap would have an adverse effect on remaining trades.
    With respect to insurers, NAIC stated that state insurance laws 
require insurers to ``tag'' each swap position to specific hedging, 
replication, or income generation transactions, giving insurance 
regulators complete transparency into the swap position carried by 
insurers. NAIC is concerned that the proposed compression requirements, 
despite the exception in Sec.  23.503(c)(3)(i), may require SDs and 
MSPs to terminate fully offsetting swaps that include swaps held by 
insurers for hedging of specific assets and liabilities, hindering 
state regulators' ability to regulate insurers. NAIC requested that the 
Commission modify the rule so that any swap position of an insurer that 
is specifically designated as a hedge as required by state insurance 
statutory accounting rules be allowed to remain outstanding and not be 
subject to portfolio compression rules.
    MetLife also strongly opposed any mandated compression of 
offsetting swap positions. MetLife believes that the safe harbor in the 
proposed rules for exclusion of swaps ``likely to increase 
significantly the risk exposure'' of a party is not sufficiently broad 
to protect a party's essential hedging transactions. MetLife 
recommended that MSPs and other end users be permitted to opt out of 
compression for transactions that are bona fide hedges. Specifically, 
MetLife stated that the compression requirements may conflict with 
state insurance laws governing allocation of hedging transactions to 
specific assets and liabilities. MetLife concurred with other 
commenters in urging the Commission to exclude insurance companies from 
any mandatory portfolio compression requirement.
    On the other hand, Eris Exchange stated that it has clearly heard 
that the swap trading community welcomes the Commission's proposed 
compression rule. Eris Exchange believes the end user community is 
optimistic that financial reform will lead to greater position netting 
and the ability to more

[[Page 55935]]

freely unwind aged swap trades without having to go through a 
cumbersome novation process involving substantial operational burden 
and negotiated up-front payments.
    Having considered these comments, the Commission notes that, as 
discussed above, the rule has been modified to require SDs and MSPs to 
establish policies and procedures for engaging in portfolio compression 
with non-SDs and non-MSPs when requested by such counterparties. The 
Commission believes this change addresses the comments of non-SDs and 
non-MSPs discussed above.
6. Application of Portfolio Compression by Asset Class
    Proposed Sec.  23.503 applied uniformly to all swaps, regardless of 
asset class. The Commission requested comment regarding whether the 
compression requirement should be restricted to particular asset 
classes.
    ISDA commented that compression in asset classes other than credit 
and interest rates would be extremely costly and the benefits would be 
limited. ISDA stated that the industry will need to develop practices 
for each additional asset class because methods used in one asset class 
are not portable to other asset classes with distinct characteristics. 
ISDA specifically recommended that the following asset classes be 
excluded from any compression requirements:
     Foreign exchange swaps, which achieve compression through 
daily trade aggregation in CLS and have short tenors;
     Equity derivatives, because they are broadly positional in 
nature, there is a lack of standardization, and they are broadly 
hedged; and
     Commodity derivatives, because notional amounts are low 
and compression may only be worthwhile for oil and precious metals.
    GFED also recommended that the Commission exclude foreign exchange 
swaps from the portfolio compression requirements as most foreign 
exchange swaps are short dated (i.e., three to six months average, one 
month for options) and the costs of implementation likely outweigh the 
limited benefits.
    As noted above, Markit stated that portfolio compression was 
recently attempted in the commodities and foreign exchange asset 
classes, but was not pursued further because the trial cycles had 
limited success.
    As discussed above, the Commission has modified the rule to remove 
the mandatory compression requirement and replace it with a requirement 
that SDs and MSPs establish policies and procedures for the regular 
evaluation of compression opportunities with other SDs and MSPs, when 
appropriate, and for engaging in compression with non-SDs and non-MSPs 
upon request. The Commission believes this change addresses commenters' 
concerns regarding the inappropriate or inefficient application of 
portfolio compression to certain asset classes.
7. Bilateral Uncleared Swap Portfolio Compression--Sec.  23.503(b)
    Proposed Sec.  23.503(b) required SDs and MSPs to engage in 
bilateral portfolio compression exercises at least once every calendar 
year with their swap counterparties that were also SDs or MSPs, unless 
the SD or MSP participated in a multilateral compression exercise in 
which such counterparties also participated.
    With respect to this proposal, ISDA commented that the move to 
clearing will reduce the need for bilateral/uncleared trade compression 
because most fungible, liquid products in the credit and rates markets 
will be in DCOs.
    The Commission believes that the changes to the proposed rule 
discussed above will address commenters' concerns regarding the 
inefficient application of portfolio compression to uncleared swaps. 
Specifically, the rule as adopted will not require SDs and MSPs to 
engage in bilateral compression, but only require that registrants 
establish policies and procedures for periodically engaging in such 
compression where appropriate.
8. Termination of Fully-Offsetting Bilateral Swaps--Sec.  23.503(a)
    Proposed Sec.  23.503(a) required SDs and MSPs to terminate fully 
offsetting swaps with other SDs or MSPs no later than the close of 
business on the business day following the day the fully offsetting 
swap was executed.
    Commenting on this proposal, The Working Group stated that an SD or 
MSP with a regulatory requirement for functional separation may have 
legitimate reasons for maintaining offsetting long and short positions, 
thus the Commission should not mandate termination of fully-offsetting 
swaps, but only require that registrants have policies and procedures 
for termination of such swaps in appropriate circumstances. The Working 
Group also argued that requiring registrants to run and monitor daily 
systems for the detection of completely offsetting swaps where there 
are likely to be none is unnecessarily burdensome. Finally, The Working 
Group believes that the one business day time period for terminating 
fully-offsetting swaps is unnecessarily burdensome and should be 
revised to allow for one week.
    ISDA believes the requirement for registrants to terminate fully-
offsetting swaps between registrants to be unnecessary because such 
swaps are not sources of material risk. ISDA believes compliance with 
the rule would be extremely difficult and expensive to implement as 
compliance will require new processes to identify single offsetting 
trades. In addition, ISDA stated that perfectly offsetting swaps are 
not common and recommends the Commission clarify whether only perfect 
offsets are required to be terminated.
    The Commission finds these comments persuasive and is modifying the 
rule to require only that SDs and MSPs establish policies and 
procedures to terminate fully offsetting swaps with other SDs and MSPs 
in a timely fashion, where appropriate. The Commission believes this 
modification allows SDs and MSPs to design policies and procedures that 
permit the maintenance of offsetting long and short positions for 
legitimate business reasons.\45\ The Commission has also determined to 
remove the one-day termination requirement as a cost-saving measure and 
to replace it with the phrase ``in a timely fashion.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ Compare with ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 3 RM, 
subsection 3, (stating that ``counterparties shall terminate each of 
the fully offset OTC derivative contracts not later than when the 
compression exercise is finalized.'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. Compression of Cleared Swaps
    The proposed regulation did not differentiate between cleared swaps 
and uncleared swaps.
    In this respect, ISDA believes that no compression requirement 
should attach to cleared trades, but, in the alternative, ISDA 
recommended the Commission clarify that complying with a DCOs 
compression requirements will satisfy the compression requirements of 
the proposed rule. Likewise, MFA stated that end users should not be 
required to engage in multilateral portfolio compression for cleared 
swaps.
    Having considered these comments, and in light of the portfolio 
compression requirements under the Commission's regulations for 
DCOs,\46\ the Commission has concluded that it is unnecessary to apply 
the requirements of this rule to swaps that are cleared by a DCO and 
has modified the rule accordingly. The Commission notes that this 
change is parallel to the portfolio reconciliation

[[Page 55936]]

rule, which also does not apply to swaps cleared by a DCO.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ See 17 CFR 39.13(h)(4), Derivatives Clearing Organization 
General Provisions and Core Principles, 76 FR 69334, 69383 (Nov. 8, 
2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

10. Mandatory Multilateral Compression Offered by a DCO or SRO--Sec.  
23.503(c)(2)
    Proposed Sec.  23.503(c)(2) required SDs and MSPs to participate in 
all multilateral portfolio compression exercises offered by a DCO of 
which the SD or MSP is a member or an SRO of which the SD or MSP is a 
member.
    Commenting on this aspect of the proposal, both ISDA and TriOptima 
stated that mandating compression offered by a DCO or SRO will inhibit 
competition among providers of compression services. ISDA is concerned 
that members of DCOs and SROs may become bound to compression services 
with inadequate transparency, insufficient testing and lack of price 
competition. ISDA recommends that the Commission permit registrants to 
select the compression service provider, including for DCO or SRO-
mandated compression exercises.
    As discussed above, the Commission has removed the mandatory 
compression requirements from the rule as adopted. Nonetheless, in 
response to these comments, the Commission agrees that the rule should 
not demonstrate a preference for any type of compression services 
provider and has accordingly modified the rule to require SDs and MSPs 
to evaluate multilateral compression exercises initiated, offered, or 
sponsored by any third party. This change also comports with the 
decision to change the final DCO rules to provide for voluntary 
participation in compression exercises.
11. Risk Tolerances in Multilateral Portfolio Compression--Sec.  
23.503(c)(3)(ii)
    Proposed Sec.  23.503(c)(3)(ii) permitted SDs and MSPs to establish 
counterparty, market, cash payment, and other risk tolerances, and to 
exclude specific potential counterparties for the purposes of 
multilateral compression exercises.
    Commenting on this aspect of the proposal, The Working Group 
recommended that the Commission grant market participants broad 
discretion when setting ``risk tolerances'' for multilateral 
compression exercises, including:
     A broad array of risks for which swaps may be excluded 
from the exercise (e.g., regulatory risk, financial statement risk);
     The ability to express preference for preserving swaps 
with one counterparty over another for credit risk management purposes; 
and
     The ability to require that only identical swaps and not 
substantially similar swaps can be compressed.
    Having removed the mandatory multilateral compression requirement 
from the rule, the Commission has also removed the portions of the rule 
related to setting risk tolerances. However, under the revised rule, 
SDs and MSPs must establish policies and procedures for engaging in 
multilateral compression exercises, and the Commission expects that 
these policies and procedures will address how the SD and MSP would 
determine which swaps to include and exclude from compression exercises 
and what risk tolerances it would accept. The Commission believes that 
this change addresses commenters' concerns regarding the discretion to 
determine risk tolerances in multilateral compression exercises.
12. Portfolio Compression Service Provider Standards
    The proposed regulations did not prescribe standards for portfolio 
compression service providers, and Markit recommended that, due to the 
complexity of multilateral compression exercises, the Commission 
establish standards for compression service providers to ensure 
competency, timely service, and sufficient resources. The process for 
choosing compression service providers should be fair and open. Freddie 
Mac urged the Commission to closely scrutinize the necessity and 
propriety of the terms of business demanded by prospective service 
providers (including SDRs, SEFs and DCOs) and disapprove overreaching 
terms such as open-ended indemnification, disclaimer of liability, 
assertions of ownership over transactional data, and other intellectual 
property of service users.
    Given that the rule as adopted no longer contains a mandatory 
compression requirement, the Commission believes that these comments 
regarding standards for service providers and overreaching terms are 
best addressed by competition in the market for providers of 
compression services.
13. Recordkeeping Requirement for Portfolio Compression--Sec.  
23.503(e)
    Propose Sec.  23.503(e) required SDs and MSPs to maintain records 
of each bilateral and multilateral compression exercise, including 
dates, the swaps included in the exercise, the eligible swaps excluded 
from the exercise and the reason for such exclusion, the counterparty 
and risk tolerances specified for the exercise, and the results of the 
exercise. ISDA commented that the recordkeeping requirement for 
portfolio compression is too prescriptive in its detail. The Commission 
is modifying the rule to require simply that SDs and MSPs maintain 
complete and accurate records of all compression exercises. As a matter 
of good practice, the Commission anticipates that market participants 
will make and maintain all necessary records of any swaps that are 
netted down, new swaps entered into, and any swaps that are submitted 
for compression but not compressed. In addition, the Commission 
observes that the rule does not prohibit SDs and MSPs from relying on 
third-party service providers to achieve compliance with the rule, 
although the responsibility for compliance cannot be delegated.

III. Effective Dates and Compliance Dates

    In the Documentation NPRM and Confirmation NPRM, the Commission 
requested comment on the length of time necessary for registrants to 
come into compliance with the proposed rules. As discussed further 
below, the Commission also proposed a compliance schedule, Sec.  
23.575, for swap trading relationship documentation, Sec.  23.504, in a 
separate release in September 2011.

A. Comments Regarding Compliance Dates

1. Documentation NPRM
    With respect to Sec.  23.504, The Working Group recommended that 
the Commission delay promulgating rules on swap documentation until it 
has finalized all required rules to be issued under the Dodd-Frank Act 
and can fully analyze the potential effect of documentation rules on 
the swap markets, or, in the alternative, adopt a general framework 
with an extended period of time for implementation to allow market 
participants to design appropriate documentation standards. Further, if 
the Commission should decide to make the proposed rules applicable to 
existing transactions, then The Working Group recommended that the 
Commission provide a short term safe-harbor for existing transactions 
and give the market 36 months to come into compliance. If the 
Commission should decide not to make the proposed rules applicable to 
existing transactions, then The Working Group recommended that the 
Commission give the market 12 months to come into compliance.
    ISDA & SIFMA requested that the Commission defer proposing an 
implementation timeline until the

[[Page 55937]]

Commission's rules and the SEC's rules relating to trading 
documentation are fully developed and the industry has been given the 
opportunity to address implementation issues with the Commission at 
that time.
    FSR believes that the renegotiation of existing documentation would 
take significantly longer than six months and urged the Commission to 
recognize that negotiation of new credit support arrangements, 
including third-party custody arrangements, will be particularly time-
consuming and thus requested that the Commission provide an 
appropriately long implementation timeframe. The Coalition of 
Derivatives End-Users proposed a period of not less than two years for 
implementation for end users because it is unclear how each SD and MSP 
would seek to implement changes to comply with swap documentation rules 
for both existing and new swaps. The Coalition believes this period of 
time will allow for discussions and negotiations across all swap 
counterparty relationships.
    IECA recommended that a long implementation period be provided. 
Otherwise, SDs will have an advantage because they have more resources 
to apply than end users and it is likely that any standard amendment 
would come from industry groups such as ISDA, which primarily 
represents the interests of SDs. CIEBA is also concerned that a 
deadline for SDs and MSPs to bring their documentation into compliance 
would allow SDs and MSPs to present buy-side participants with a newly 
standardized set of documentation, and would result in buy-side 
participants having insufficient input into the substance of the 
documentation. CIEBA also noted that a number of its members reported 
that it is not uncommon for SDs to take up to a year to finalize an 
ISDA agreement with a pension plan fiduciary. If SDs were required to 
revise all their swap agreements, CIEBA believes that it could take 
years.
    In contrast to the foregoing comments, Michael Greenberger 
commented that since many dealers already use documentation that will 
comply with the regulations, allowing a maximum of thirty days to 
comply with the rules following adoption should suffice.
    In addition to the foregoing comments, the Commission received 
comments with respect to proposed compliance schedules for a number of 
proposed rules, including Sec.  23.504.\47\ In September 2011, the 
Commission proposed four compliance schedules for four separate 
provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, including: (i) The clearing 
requirement; (ii) the trade execution requirement; (iii) trading 
documentation under section 4s; and (iv) margining requirements for 
uncleared swaps.\48\ In its proposal, Swap Transaction Compliance and 
Implementation Schedule: Trading Documentation and Margining 
Requirements under Section 4s of the CEA, (Implementation Schedule 
NPRM), the Commission stated that the proposed compliance schedule for 
Sec.  23.504 was designed to afford affected market participants a 
reasonable amount of time to bring their transactions into compliance 
with the requirements of the rule and to provide relief in the form of 
additional time for compliance. The schedule was intended to facilitate 
the transition to the new regulatory regime established by the Dodd-
Frank Act in an orderly manner that does not unduly disrupt markets and 
transactions. To this end, the Commission proposed Sec.  23.575, under 
which an SD or MSP would be afforded ninety (90), one hundred eighty 
(180), or two hundred and seventy (270) days to bring its swap trading 
relationship documentation with its various counterparties into 
compliance with the requirements of Sec.  23.504, depending on the 
identity of each such counterparty. In the proposal, market 
participants that are financial entities, as defined in section 
2(h)(7)(C) of the CEA, were grouped into the following four categories:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ See Swap Transaction Compliance and Implementation 
Schedule: Trading Documentation and Margining Requirements under 
Section 4s of the CEA, 76 FR 58176 (Sept. 20, 2011) (Implementation 
Schedule NPRM).
    \48\ The trading documentation and margining requirements 
compliance schedules were proposed in one release. See id. The 
clearing requirement and trade execution requirement were proposed 
in another release, Swap Transaction Compliance and Implementation 
Schedule: Clearing and Trade Execution Requirements under Section 
2(h) of the CEA, 76 FR 58186 (Sept. 20, 2011). The Commission 
finalized the compliance schedule for the clearing requirement on 
July 24, 2012. See Swap Transaction Compliance and Implementation 
Schedule: Clearing Requirement Under Section 2(h) of the CEA, 77 FR 
44441 (July 30, 2012). The compliance schedules for margin for 
uncleared swaps and the trade execution requirement will be 
finalized separately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Category 1 Entities included SDs, security-based swap 
dealers, MSPs, major security-based swap participants, and active funds 
(defined as any private fund as defined in section 202(a) of the 
Investment Advisers Act of 1940), that is not a third-party subaccount 
and that executes 20 or more swaps per month based on a monthly average 
over the 12 months preceding this adopting release.
     Category 2 Entities included commodity pools; private 
funds as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 
1940 other than active funds; employee benefit plans identified in 
paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income 
and Security Act of 1974; or persons predominantly engaged in 
activities that are in the business of banking, or in activities that 
are financial in nature as defined in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding 
Company Act of 1956, provided that the entity is not a third-party 
subaccount.
     Category 3 Entities include Category 2 Entities whose 
positions are held as third-party subaccounts.
     Category 4 Entities includes any person not included in 
Categories 1, 2, or 3.
    Proposed Sec.  23.575 required SDs and MSPs to be in compliance 
with Sec.  23.504 no later than 90 days after publication of the final 
rule in the Federal Register for swap transactions with a Category 1 
Entity, no later than 180 days after publication for swap transactions 
with a Category 2 Entity, and no later than 270 days after publication 
for swap transactions with a Category 3 Entity or Category 4 Entity.
    The Commission received approximately 19 comments with respect to 
the compliance phasing proposal, each of which it considered in 
finalizing the compliance dates for the rule, as discussed below.
a. Definition of ``Active Fund''
    The proposal defined ``active fund'' as ``any private fund as 
defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, that 
is a not a third party subaccount and that executes 20 or more swaps 
per month based on a monthly average over the 12 months preceding * * 
*.''
    Commenting on this definition, the Association of Institutional 
Investors (AII) stated that basing the definition on an average of 20 
swap transactions per month is arbitrary. AII believes that the 
Commission should collect data under swap transaction reporting rules 
and then make a determination, but, in the alternative, AII recommended 
that the threshold be higher and that the definition specify the type 
of swaps that count towards the threshold. FIA/ISDA/SIFMA and Vanguard 
also commented that the average monthly threshold should be raised, and 
recommended that the threshold be raised to include only those funds 
averaging more than 200 transactions per month.
    MFA recommended that the definition be eliminated because it is 
over-inclusive, difficult to administer, and unnecessarily divides the 
class of buy-side market participants. Under MFA's view, all private 
funds should be Category 2 Entities. If the Commission does not delete 
the definition, MFA

[[Page 55938]]

requested clarification regarding those swaps that are to be included 
in the calculation, e.g., novations, amendments, partial tear-ups, etc.
    On a different tack, FSR stated that the definition of ``active 
fund'' is unclear and needs further clarification to distinguish 
between active fund and ``third-party subaccount.'' FSR represented 
that its fund manager members believe that most (if not all) entities 
that would fall into the term ``active fund'' would also constitute 
``third-party subaccounts.''
    The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) commented that the 
frequency of trading is not an appropriate indicator of experience or 
available resources for determining which entities can comply most 
quickly. Similarly CDE recommended a minimum notional amount monthly 
average threshold to avoid capturing smaller end-users and excluding 
hedges and inter-affiliate swaps from the monthly average threshold.
    On the other hand, Better Markets and Chris Barnard supported the 
proposal, stating that average monthly trading volume is the 
appropriate proxy for determining an entity's ability to comply with 
the proposed implementation schedule and is better than notional 
volume.
    The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) also 
believes that the average number of swaps executed during the previous 
12 months is a good proxy for determining what is an active fund, but 
recommended that the definition should include private funds regardless 
of whether they are a third party subaccount or not. Otherwise, private 
funds that are not subaccounts will be disadvantaged relative to those 
that are, in terms of the cost of entering into swaps during the course 
of the implementation schedule. AIMA considered alternatives to the 
definition but believes that instituting an ``assets under management'' 
threshold for the definition of active fund may be problematic, as 
notwithstanding such a threshold, a manager may invest in other types 
of financial instruments such that they do not in fact have the 
experience or resources to more quickly comply with the regulations. 
AIMA also believes that commodity pools that are not private funds, but 
that execute 20 or more swaps on average per month, should be included 
in the definition.
    Having considered the comments received, the Commission believes 
that the definition of ``active fund'' appropriately uses a 
transaction-based trigger to distinguish between funds more active in 
the swaps market and those that are less so. However, in response to 
comments that an average of 20 transactions per month may be overly 
inclusive and may cause some smaller entities, less well-positioned for 
compliance with shorter implementation timeframes, to fall within the 
definition. Accordingly, the Commission has determined to raise the 
threshold to 200 swap transactions on average per month so as to ensure 
only more active participants in the market are included within the 
definition. The Commission also agrees with commenters that 
establishing an appropriate minimum notional amount applicable to all 
participants in the swap market, or assets under management standard, 
to be impracticable.
    However, the Commission does not believe it is appropriate to 
create exclusions for the types of swap transactions within the 
definition given the administrative burdens of monitoring such 
distinctions for purposes of the proposed implementation schedule. In 
response to commenters seeking clarification of what types of swap 
transactions are to be included in the monthly calculation, the 
Commission notes that the proposed implementation schedule, and the 
compliance dates adopted in this release, both refer to ``swaps'' and 
not ``swap transactions.'' ``Swap transaction'' is defined in Sec.  
23.500 to include assignments, novations, amendments, and other events 
that Sec.  23.501 requires to be documented by confirmation. Therefore, 
in response to commenter's concerns, the Commission confirms that the 
active fund threshold of 200 swaps per month refers to ``swaps'' as 
defined in section 1a(47) of the CEA and Commission regulations, but 
would not include assignments, novations, amendments, or like events 
that occur with respect to existing swaps.
b. Definition of ``Third-party Subaccount''
    The Implementation Schedule NPRM defined ``third-party subaccount'' 
to mean ``a managed account that requires the specific approval by the 
beneficial owner of the account to execute documentation necessary for 
executing, confirming, margining or clearing swaps.'' Third-party 
subaccounts were designated as Category 3 Entities, whereas other funds 
were designated Category 1 or Category 2 Entities.
    With respect to this definition, AII commented that the definition 
is too narrow given the administrative work required in managing an 
account, regardless of the execution authority. Further, AII stated 
that execution authority is not an industry standard, and thus divides 
the universe of separate accounts inappropriately. Similarly, the 
Investment Company Institute (ICI) stated that third party subaccounts, 
whether subject to the specific execution authority of the beneficiary 
or not, require managers to work closely with clients when entering 
into trading agreements on the customer's behalf. As such, no 
distinction should be made based on specific execution authority or 
lack thereof, and that all third party accounts should be uniformly 
classified as Category 3 Entities, allowing for a 270 day compliance 
period.
    FIA/ISDA/SIFMA also recommended that all accounts managed for third 
parties, regardless of the execution authority, should be in the 
Category 3 Entity implementation phase. FIA/ISDA/SIFMA recommended that 
the Commission adopt a definition of ``third-party fund'' that is any 
fund that is not a private fund and is sub-advised by a subadvisor that 
is independent of and unaffiliated with the fund sponsor. A ``third-
party subaccount'' would be defined as any account that is not a fund 
and is managed by an asset manager, irrespective of the level of 
delegation granted by the account owner by the account owner to the 
asset manager.
    Based on the comments received, the Commission is revising the 
definition of Third-Party Subaccount to mean an account that is managed 
by an investment manager that (1) is independent of and unaffiliated 
with the account's beneficial owner or sponsor, and (2) is responsible 
for the documentation necessary for the account's beneficial owner to 
document swaps as required under section 4s(i) of the CEA. In modifying 
this definition, the Commission is taking into account the point made 
by AII, FIA/ISDA/SIFMA, and ICI that all investment managers will need 
additional time to comply with the trading documentation requirements 
regardless of whether they have explicit execution authority. However, 
the definition retains the nexus between the investment manager and the 
documentation needed for swaps under section 4s(i) of the CEA. In other 
words, if the investment manager has no responsibility for documenting 
the swap trading relationships, then that account would be required to 
come into compliance with the documentation requirements within 180 
days. For those accounts under the revised definition, however, the 
Commission believes that the 270-day deadline is more appropriate. 
Given the general notice that investment managers have had

[[Page 55939]]

about the Dodd-Frank Act's documentation requirements for SDs and MSPs 
since the enactment of the statute in July, 2010, managers should have 
been able to consider and plan the infrastructure and resources that 
are necessary for all of their accounts, including Third-Party 
Subaccounts, to comply with the documentation requirements. Thus, the 
180- and 270-day deadlines should provide adequate time to accommodate 
all managed accounts.
c. Definitions of Categories of Entities
    The Commission received several comments with respect to the 
definitions of the categories of entities to which the proposed 
implementation schedules applied.
    Encana and EEI, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 
and Electric Power Supply Association (Joint Associations) believe that 
the definition of Category 4 Entity under the proposed implementation 
schedules should expressly include non-financial end users.
    The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users argued that financial end-
users should be treated identically to non-financial end-users because 
they do not pose systemic risk, and therefore, should be given the most 
time to comply with the requirements.
    ICI requested clarification that a market participant can determine 
whether it is an MSP for purposes of the proposed implementation 
schedules at the same time that it is required to review its status as 
an MSP under other Commission and SEC rules.
    CIEBA requested that in-house ERISA funds should be in the group 
with the longest compliance time, and not Category 2 Entities, arguing 
that these funds are not systemically risky, and they typically rely 
upon third-party managers for some portion of their fund management. 
Splitting in-house and external accounts (i.e., those accounts meeting 
the Implementation Schedule NPRM's definition of third-party subaccount 
and which are therefore Category 3 Entities) of the same ERISA plan 
will impact risk management given different implementation schedules. 
The distinction will also cause pension funds to bear the costs of 
compliance because they will need to comply prior to their third party 
managers who would be better positioned to provide insight and services 
in this regard.
    The Commission considered the foregoing comments, and has 
determined to modify the category definitions in certain respects. In 
response to Encana and the Joint Associations, non-financial entities 
are clearly included amongst Category 4 Entities and SDs and MSPs are 
given 270 days to comply with the documentation requirement with 
respect to such entities.
    With respect to issues raised by the Coalition for Derivatives End-
Users regarding those financial entities included in Category 2, the 
Commission believes that those entities have been correctly categorized 
based upon the distinction between financial and non-financial entities 
under section 2(h)(7) of the CEA. The Commission believes that, just as 
Congress has required financial entities to be subject to required 
clearing due to their importance to the financial system, SDs and MSPs 
should be required to meet the documentation requirements of Sec.  
23.504 with such entities prior to being required to meet such 
documentation requirements with non-financial entities. However, the 
definition of Category 2 Entity is modified by removing the reference 
to ERISA plans. The Commission recognizes the concerns raised by CIEBA 
regarding splitting in-house and external accounts (i.e., those 
accounts meeting the definition of Third-Party Subaccount and permitted 
270 days) of the same ERISA plan. In response to these concerns, the 
Commission is removing the reference to employee benefit plans as 
defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) of section 3 of the Employee 
Retirement Income and Security Act of 1974. As a result, these ERISA 
plans will be afforded the longest compliance period (270 days).
    In response to the comment from ICI, the Commission confirms that a 
potential MSP may be able to review its obligation to register as an 
MSP at the same time it is reviewing where it fits under the compliance 
dates adopted in this release depending on the nature and scope of an 
MSP's swaps activities. The Commission notes that its rule further 
defining MSP was published on May 23, 2012, and its rule further 
defining ``swap'' was published on August 13, 2012, so potential MSPs 
will necessarily have to review their registration obligations ahead of 
complying with the compliance dates adopted herein. However, if an 
entity discovers that it has crossed the threshold established under 
the MSP rules and is required to register during the 90-day period for 
Category 1 Entities, the Commission would permit that entity to 
petition for additional time to come into compliance with the Sec.  
23.504.\49\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ Similarly, the Commission would consider allowing entities 
to petition for additional time to comply to the extent that they 
discover that they have exceeded the de minimis threshold under the 
swap dealer definition and are required to register during the 90-
day period for Category 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Proposed Implementation Schedule
    As outlined above, proposed Sec.  23.575 required SDs and MSPs to 
be in compliance with Sec.  23.504 no later than 90 days after 
publication of the final rule in the Federal Register for swap 
transactions with a Category 1 Entity, no later than 180 days after 
publication for swap transactions with a Category 2 Entity, and no 
later than 270 days after publication for swap transactions with a 
Category 3 Entity or Category 4 Entity.
    With respect to the proposed schedule, FIA/ISDA/SIFMA believes that 
the proposed implementation schedule should be lengthened because of 
the significant burden associated with the documentation requirements. 
FIA/ISDA/SIFMA argued that it would be impossible to begin complying 
with all of the documentation requirements of Sec.  23.504 at the same 
time.
    AII stated that the proposed implementation schedule does not 
provide enough time for institutional investment advisors to comply 
given the volume of document negotiations that will need to occur 
concurrently, as well as operational changes required by the Commission 
and other regulators under the Dodd-Frank Act. AII argued that 
institutional investment advisers also will face special challenges 
trying to allocate block trades across multiple categories of 
counterparty, and managing multiple implementation schedules. AII 
believes that tight timeframes will create an imbalance in negotiations 
with smaller counterparties at risk of being ``shut out of the market'' 
if they do not accept terms of the dealer community. AII therefore 
recommended that all market participants should have 18 months to come 
into compliance after the rules have been finalized.
    Encana believes non-financial end users should get more time to 
comply with the regulations given less familiarity with Commission 
regulations and the need to develop and implement policies and 
procedures.
    CDE stated that it is unlikely that end-users and other entities 
relied on by end-users will be able to meet the requirements Sec.  
23.504 if the requirements are imposed on all swaps at the same time.
    Chris Bernard generally agreed with the proposed implementation 
schedule, though he believes that documentation relating to the swap 
valuation provisions of Sec.  23.504(b)(4) should be prioritized within 
the compliance schedule.

[[Page 55940]]

    The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the Colorado 
PERA, the Missouri State Employees' Retirement System, the Teacher 
Retirement System of Texas, and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board 
recommended a one year phase-in for pension funds because the strict 
procedures that exist to protect their participants may hamper their 
ability to more quickly make the required changes to documents and 
procedures.
    FSR commented that compliance periods should be substantially 
longer, with Category 2 lasting at least a year, and not starting until 
a significantly longer Category 1 has completed. As smaller market 
participants face the risk of accepting unsuitable terms or being shut 
out of the market given the tight timeframes and lack of resources, 
additional time should be granted to entities hedging in the ordinary 
course of business.
    ICI stated that implementation should be longer, such as 18-24 
months to accommodate all of the changes that are necessary in the 
market, arguing that too short a deadline will disadvantage smaller 
market participants who may be shut out of the market. ICI also 
recommended that the proposed implementation schedules should only 
begin after all related rules are finalized.
    ACLI stated that 180 days for Category 2 Entities is insufficient 
for insurance companies that will need to work with state regulators on 
changes to operations, to negotiate documents of first impression, 
especially given the scope of the documentation to be negotiated or 
changed.
    The Commission acknowledges the concerns of commenters regarding 
negotiation imbalances if the scope of documentation to be changed is 
large, but believes that, with the modifications to the rules outlined 
above, most market participants will have documentation already in 
place that either meets the requirements of the rule or could meet such 
requirements with relatively modest amendments. Thus, the Commission 
believes that these changes plus the staggered timeframes of the 
compliance dates adopted in this release adequately address the 
concerns of commenters regarding the time and effort necessary to 
complete the necessary documentation.
2. Confirmation NPRM
    With respect to Sec. Sec.  23.501, 23.502, and 23.503 generally, 
GFED argued that the Commission should not implement the proposed rules 
prior to Treasury determining which foreign exchange products are 
subject to the proposed rules to avoid unnecessary costs and burdens, 
while MFA believes that the Commission should evaluate the notable 
differences in experience and resources of market participants related 
to post-trade processes prior to publishing final rules. MFA believes 
that the Commission's goals would be best served, and market disruption 
avoided, by providing market participants with additional time to 
design, test, and implement processes required to comply with the 
proposed rules.
    Specifically with respect to Sec.  23.501, MarkitSERV believes that 
the rules should be phased in based on a product-by-product analysis of 
complexity and average time to confirm similar transactions, while 
Chatham believes the confirmation requirements should be phased-in over 
6 to 12 months and that non-SDs and non-MSPs should be the last 
participants required to comply with the rules. In addition, ISDA 
provided the Commission with details of the current percentage of 
transactions electronically traded and confirmed, voice traded and 
electronically confirmed, voice traded and manually confirmed, and 
electronically traded and manually confirmed by eight large dealers in 
the five major swap asset classes (credit, rates, commodities, foreign 
exchange, and equity derivatives). ISDA provided the Commission with a 
break-down of this data showing time to confirmation by asset class, 
and the differences between electronic confirmation in dealer-to-dealer 
transactions versus transactions with other counterparty types.
    Specifically with respect to Sec.  23.502, Chatham recommended that 
the Commission provide end-users with at least six months to one year 
to comply with the proposed reconciliation rules, while the OCC stated 
that many SDs will not be among the G-14 largest OTC derivatives 
dealers and, given the incremental progression that was necessary for 
the G-14 OTC derivatives dealers to develop the infrastructure 
necessary to increase reconciliation amongst themselves from weekly 
reconciliation for portfolios with 5,000 or more trades in 2008 to the 
current daily reconciliation for portfolios of 500 or more trades, the 
Commission must provide sufficient time for all registrants to develop 
the required infrastructure.
    With respect to Sec.  23.503, ISDA urged the Commission to consider 
a long phase-in period for any compression requirement due to 
significant administrative and logistical issues.

B. Compliance Dates

    Having considered the comments received, the Commission is adopting 
the effective and compliance dates as set forth below.
1. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation--Sec.  23.504
    The effective date of Sec.  23.504 will be the date that is 60 days 
after publication of the final rules in the Federal Register.
    The Commission proposed a compliance schedule, Sec.  23.575, but 
has determined not to finalize its schedule in the form of a rule. 
Rather, compliance periods are outlined below. With respect to swap 
transactions with SDs, security-based swap dealers, MSPs, major 
security-based swap participants, or any private fund, as defined in 
section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, that is not a 
third-party subaccount (defined below) and that executes 200 or more 
swaps per month based on a monthly average over the 12 months preceding 
this adopting release (active funds), SDs and MSPs must comply with 
Sec.  23.504 by January 1, 2013.
    With respect to swap transactions with commodity pools; private 
funds as defined in section 202(a) of the Investment Advisers Act of 
1940 other than active funds; or persons predominantly engaged in 
activities that are in the business of banking, or in activities that 
are financial in nature as defined in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding 
Company Act of 1956, provided that the entity is not an account that is 
managed by an investment manager that (1) is independent of and 
unaffiliated with the account's beneficial owner or sponsor, and (2) is 
responsible for the documentation necessary for the account's 
beneficial owner to document swaps as required under section 4s(i) of 
the CEA (third-party subaccounts), SDs and MSPs must comply with Sec.  
23.504 by April 1, 2013.
    With respect to swap transactions with any other counterparty, SDs 
and MSPs must comply with Sec.  23.504 by July 1, 2013.
2. Swap Confirmation--Sec.  23.501
    The effective date of Sec. Sec.  23.500 and 23.501 will be the date 
that is 60 days after publication of the final rules in the Federal 
Register.
    With respect to confirmation, the Commission is establishing an 
implementation schedule in the rule, differentiated by swap asset 
class. For credit swaps and interest rate swaps (including cross-
currency swaps), SDs and MSPs will be required to confirm swap 
transactions with other SDs and MSPs as soon as technologically 
practicable, but in any event by the end of the second day after the 
day of execution until February 28, 2014. After

[[Page 55941]]

February 28, 2014, SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of 
paragraph (a)(1).
    For equity swaps, foreign exchange swaps, and other commodity 
swaps, SDs and MSPs will be required to confirm swap transactions with 
other SDs and MSPs as soon as technologically practicable, but in any 
event by the end of the third day after the day of execution until 
August 31, 2013. For the period between September 1, 2013 and August 
31, 2014, SDs and MSPs will be required to confirm equity, foreign 
exchange, and other commodity swap transactions with other SDs and MSPs 
as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by the end of 
the second day after the day of execution. After August 31, 2014, SDs 
and MSPs must comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(1).
    For credit and interest rate swap transactions (including cross-
currency swaps) with counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs, SDs and 
MSPs will be required to send an acknowledgement of swap transactions 
as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by the end of 
the first day after the day of execution until February 28, 2014. After 
February 28, 2014, SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of 
paragraph (a)(2).
    For equity, foreign exchange, and other commodity swap transactions 
with counterparties that are not SDs or MSPs, SDs and MSPs will be 
required to send an acknowledgement of swap transactions as soon as 
technologically practicable, but in any event by the end of the second 
day after the day of execution until August 31, 2013. For the period 
between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014, SDs and MSPs will be 
required to send an acknowledgement of equity, foreign exchange, and 
other commodity swap transactions with counterparties that are not SDs 
or MSPs as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by the 
end of the first day after the day of execution. After August 31, 2014, 
SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(2).
    For credit and interest rate swap transactions (including cross-
currency swaps) with financial entities, SDs and MSPs will be required 
to establish policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that 
they confirm swap transactions as soon as technologically practicable, 
but in any event by the end of the second day after the day of 
execution until February 28, 2014. After February 28, 2014, SDs and 
MSPs must comply with the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(i).
    For equity, foreign exchange, and other commodity swap transactions 
with financial entities, SDs and MSPs will be required to establish 
policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that they confirm 
swap transactions as soon as technologically practicable, but in any 
event by the end of the third day after the day of execution until 
August 31, 2013. For the period between September 1, 2013 and August 
31, 2014, SDs and MSPs will be required to establish policies and 
procedures reasonably designed to ensure that they confirm equity, 
foreign exchange, and other commodity swap transactions with financial 
entities as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by 
the end of the second day after the day of execution. After August 31, 
2014, SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of paragraph 
(a)(3)(i).
    For credit and interest rate swap transactions (including cross-
currency swaps) with counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or 
financial entities, SDs and MSPs will be required to establish policies 
and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that they confirm swap 
transactions as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event 
by the end of the fifth day after the day of execution until August 31, 
2013. For the period between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014, SDs 
and MSPs will be required to establish policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that they confirm credit and interest 
rate swap transactions with counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or 
financial entities as soon as technologically practicable, but in any 
event by the end of the third day after the day of execution. After 
August 31, 2014, SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of 
paragraph (a)(3)(ii).
    For equity, foreign exchange, and other commodity swap transactions 
with counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or financial entities, SDs 
and MSPs will be required to establish policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that they confirm swap transactions as 
soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by the end of the 
seventh day after the day of execution until August 31, 2013. For the 
period between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014, SDs and MSPs will 
be required to establish policies and procedures reasonably designed to 
ensure that they confirm equity, foreign exchange, and other commodity 
swap transactions with counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or 
financial entities as soon as technologically practicable, but in any 
event by the end of the fourth day after the day of execution. After 
August 31, 2014, SDs and MSPs must comply with the requirements of 
paragraph (a)(3)(ii).
    Solely for purposes of the implementation schedule applicable to 
Sec.  23.501, swaps are divided into the following asset classes:
    Credit swap means any swap that is primarily based on instruments 
of indebtedness, including, without limitation: Any swap primarily 
based on one or more broad-based indices related to instruments of 
indebtedness; and any swap that is an index credit swap or total return 
swap on one or more indices of debt instruments.
    Equity swap means any swap that is primarily based on equity 
securities, including, without limitation: Any swap primarily based on 
one or more broad-based indices of equity securities; and any total 
return swap on one or more equity indices.
    Foreign exchange swap has the meaning set forth in section 1a(25) 
of the CEA. It does not include swaps primarily based on rates of 
exchange between different currencies, changes in such rates, or other 
aspects of such rates (sometimes known as ``cross-currency swaps'').
    Interest rate swap means any swap which is primarily based on one 
or more interest rates, such as swaps of payments determined by fixed 
and floating interest rates; or any swap which is primarily based on 
rates of exchange between different currencies, changes in such rates, 
or other aspects of such rates (sometimes known as ``cross-currency 
swaps'').
    Other commodity swap means any swap not included in the credit, 
equity, foreign exchange, or interest rate asset classes, including, 
without limitation, any swap for which the primary underlying item is a 
physical commodity or the price or any other aspect of a physical 
commodity.
3. Portfolio Reconciliation & Portfolio Compression
    The effective date of Sec. Sec.  23.502 and 23.503 will be the date 
that is 60 days after publication of the final rules in the Federal 
Register.
    With respect to Sec.  23.502 (Portfolio Reconciliation) and Sec.  
23.503 (Portfolio Compression), SDs and MSPs that are currently 
regulated by a U.S. prudential regulator or are registrants of the SEC 
must comply with Sec. Sec.  23.502 and 23.503 by the date that is 90 
days after publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. SDs 
and MSPs that are not currently regulated by a U.S. prudential 
regulator and are not registrants of the SEC must comply with

[[Page 55942]]

Sec. Sec.  23.502 and 23.503 by the date that is 180 days after 
publication of this final rule in the Federal Register.

C. Compliance Date Extension for Certain Business Conduct Standards 
With Counterparties

    ISDA members have requested that the Commission align the 
compliance dates for the provisions of subpart H of part 23 that 
involve documentation \50\ with the trading relationship documentation 
rules in this release. ISDA members have represented that industry-led 
efforts are underway to facilitate compliance with new Dodd-Frank Act 
documentation requirements and an alignment of compliance dates would 
allow the most efficient transition to compliance with part 23's 
documentation requirements.\51\
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    \50\ Subpart H of Part 23 of the Commission's Regulations, 
Business Conduct Standards for Swap Dealers and Major Swap 
Participants with Counterparties, 77 FR 9734, 9824 (Feb. 17, 2012).
    \51\ ISDA is partnering with Markit to launch a technology-based 
solution enabling counterparties to amend their OTC derivatives 
documentation quickly and efficiently to comply with Dodd-Frank 
regulatory requirements. See http://www2.isda.org/dodd-frank-documentation-initiative/.
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    The Commission has decided to defer the compliance dates for 
certain provisions of subpart H until January 1, 2013. Compliance with 
the following provisions will be deferred until January 1, 2013: 
Sec. Sec.  23.402; 23.410(c); 23.430; 23.431(a)-(c); 23.432; 
23.434(a)(2), (b), and (c); 23.440; and 23.450.\52\ Compliance with all 
other provisions will continue to be required by October 15, 2012.
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    \52\ The Commission's decision to defer compliance does not 
reflect an endorsement of the industry-led effort, nor does it imply 
that the Commission has reviewed the documentation protocol for 
compliance with Commission rules. All market participants are 
subject to the new compliance dates regardless of whether they 
participate in the protocol.
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IV. Cost Benefit Considerations

    Section 15(a) of the CEA \53\ requires the Commission to consider 
the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation 
under the CEA or issuing certain orders. Section 15(a) further 
specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of 
five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) Protection of market 
participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and 
financial integrity of futures markets; \54\ (3) price discovery; (4) 
sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest 
considerations. The Commission considers the costs and benefits 
resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the 
Section 15(a) factors.
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    \53\ 7 U.S.C. 19(a).
    \54\ Although by its terms section 15(a)(2)(B) of the CEA 
applies to futures markets only, the Commission finds this factor 
useful in analyzing regulations pertaining to swap markets as well.
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    Under section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer 
Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Congress directed the Commission to 
``adopt rules governing documentation standards for swap dealers and 
major swap participants.'' The statutory provision in question, section 
4(s)(i)(1) of the CEA, laid out a broad and general directive relating 
to ``timely and accurate confirmation, processing, netting, 
documentation, and valuation of all swaps.'' In promulgating the final 
rules subject to this release, the Commission has taken its direction 
from the statutory text, but is exercising its discretion with regard 
to the specific requirements set forth in the rules--namely, to require 
SDs and MSPs to meet certain confirmation deadlines for their swap 
transactions with other SDs and MSPs, to have policies and procedures 
for confirming swap transactions with financial entities and non-
financial entities within certain time periods, to engage in regular 
portfolio reconciliation and portfolio compression, and to ensure that 
their swaps are governed by appropriate trading relationship 
documentation.
    In exercising its discretion, the Commission has taken into account 
a series of voluntary industry initiatives, including efforts to 
improve the confirmation, reconciliation, compression, documentation, 
and valuation of swaps, as well as the overarching goals of the Dodd-
Frank Act: reducing systemic risk, increasing transparency, and 
promoting integrity within the financial system. As discussed below, 
these industry efforts provide a useful reference point for considering 
the Commission's action.
    In the context of the relevant statutory provision and ongoing 
industry initiatives, in the sections that follow, the Commission 
discusses each requirement individually in light of cost-benefit issues 
raised by commenters and suggested alternatives. The Commission also 
summarizes and considers costs and benefits collectively for the set of 
confirmation, portfolio reconciliation, and portfolio compression 
rules, and separately for the swap trading relationship documentation 
rules.

A. Background

    In the fall of 2008, an economic crisis threatened to freeze U.S. 
and global credit markets. The federal government intervened to 
buttress the stability of the U.S. financial system.\55\ The crisis 
revealed the vulnerability of the U.S. financial system and economy to 
wide-spread systemic risk resulting from, among other things, poor risk 
management practices of financial firms and the lack of supervisory 
oversight for certain financial institutions as a whole.\56\ More 
specifically, the crisis and the attendant failure of a series of large 
financial institutions demonstrated the need for direct regulation of 
the OTC derivatives markets.\57\
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    \55\ On October 3, 2008, President Bush signed the Emergency 
Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which was principally designed 
to allow the U.S. Treasury and other government agencies to take 
action to restore liquidity and stability to the U.S. financial 
system (e.g., the Troubled Asset Relief Program--also known as 
TARP--under which the U.S. Treasury was authorized to purchase up to 
$700 billion of troubled assets that weighed down the balance sheets 
of U.S. financial institutions). See Pub. L. 110-343, 122 Stat. 3765 
(2008).
    \56\ See Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, ``The Financial 
Crisis Inquiry Report: Final Report of the National Commission on 
the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United 
States,'' Jan. 2011, at xxvii, available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf [hereinafter the FCIC Report].
    \57\ See id. at 25 (concluding that ``enactment of * * * [the 
Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (``CFMA'')] to ban the 
regulation by both the federal and state governments of over-the-
counter (OTC) derivatives was a key turning point in the march 
toward the financial crisis.''). See also id. at 343 (``Lehman, like 
other large OTC derivatives dealers, experienced runs on its 
derivatives operations that played a role in its failure. Its 
massive derivatives positions greatly complicated its bankruptcy, 
and the impact of its bankruptcy through interconnections with 
derivatives counterparties and other financial institutions 
contributed significantly to the severity and depth of the financial 
crisis.'') and id. at 353 (``AIG's failure was possible because of 
the sweeping deregulation of [OTC] derivatives, [* * *] including 
capital and margin requirements that would have lessened the 
likelihood of AIG's failure. The OTC derivatives market's lack of 
transparency and of effective price discovery exacerbated the 
collateral disputes of AIG and Goldman Sachs and similar disputes 
between other derivatives counterparties.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    American International Group (AIG) is an example of how the 
stability of a large financial institution could be undermined by 
certain failures in risk management, internal controls with respect to 
trading positions, documentation, and valuation, AIG was a regulated 
U.S. insurance company nearly undone by its collateral posting 
obligations under swaps entered into by its subsidiary, AIG Financial 
Products (AIGFP). AIGFP suffered enormous losses from credit default 
swaps that it issued on certain underlying securities, which, because 
AIGFP's performance on such credit default swaps had been guaranteed by 
its parent, caused credit agencies to downgrade the credit rating of 
the entire AIG corporation. The downgrade triggered collateral calls 
and induced a liquidity crisis at AIG, which

[[Page 55943]]

resulted in over $85 billion of indirect assistance from the Federal 
Reserve Bank of New York to prevent AIG's default.\58\
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    \58\ The Federal Reserve Bank of New York explained its 
intervention as a means of preventing contagion concerns resulting 
from an AIG default from spreading financial losses to other firms. 
The FCIC argued and Gretchen Morgenson reported that the entire U.S. 
financial system might have been threatened by such a large default. 
See FCIC Report at 200-02 and 344-52 and Gretchen Morgenson, 
``Behind Insurer's Crisis, Blind Eye to a Web of Risk,'' N.Y. Times, 
Sept. 27, 2008 [hereinafter Morgenson Article]. Corrected version 
published Sept. 30, 2008, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/business/28melt.html?pagewanted=all.
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    The inability to value its portfolio accurately and agree on 
valuations with its counterparties posed a serious problem for AIG 
during the financial crisis.\59\ Swap valuation disputes were common, 
because, among other things, there was widespread market opacity for 
many of the inputs needed to properly value many swaps.\60\ As reported 
during the fall of 2008, ``the methods that A.I.G. used to value its 
derivatives portfolio began to come under fire from trading partners.'' 
\61\ As explained by a Congressional panel, ``the threats within 
[AIG's] businesses emanated from outsized exposure to the deteriorating 
mortgage markets, owing to grossly inadequate valuation and risk 
controls, including insufficient capital buffers as losses and 
collateral calls mounted'' (emphasis added).\62\
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    \59\ See Testimony Before the Financial Crisis Inquiry 
Commission, including AIG/Goldman Sachs Collateral Call Timeline, 
available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0701-AIG-Goldman-supporting-docs.pdf (timeline 
documenting valuation disputes and collateral calls); Testimony of 
Joseph Cassano, available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0630-Cassano.pdf; and AIG Statement 
Summary, available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0630-AIG-Statement-Summary.pdf.
    \60\ The failure of the market to set a price for mortgage-
backed securities led to wide disparities in the valuation of CDS 
referencing mortgage-backed securities (especially collateralized 
debt obligations). ``The illiquid market for some structured credit 
products, auction rate securities, and other products backed by 
opaque portfolios led to major write-downs across the industry in 
2008. The resulting depletion of capital led to credit downgrades, 
which in turn drove counterparty collateral calls and sales of 
illiquid assets. This further depleted capital balances. Widening 
CDS spreads have become widely viewed as a leading indicator of a 
bank's financial health and viability.'' PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 
``Lehman Brothers' Bankruptcy: Lessons learned for the survivors,'' 
Informational presentation for clients, August 2009, at 12, 
available at http://www.pwc.com/en_JG/jg/events/Lessons-learned-for-the-survivors.pdf. In addition, such wide disparities led to 
large collateral calls from dealers on AIG, hastening its downfall. 
See CBS News, ``Calling AIG? Internal Docs Reveal Company Silent 
About Dozens Of Collateral Calls,'' Jun. 23, 2009, available at: 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/23/cbsnews_investigates/main5106672.shtml.
    \61\ See Morgenson Article.
    \62\ Congressional Oversight Panel, June Oversight Report: The 
AIG Rescue, Its Impact on Markets, and the Government's Exit 
Strategy, June 10, 2010, at 24, available at http://cybercemetery.unt.edu/archive/cop/20110402010341/cop.senate.gov/documents/cop-061010-report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The financial crisis also highlighted the significance of 
substandard or missing legal documentation. For example, the Lehman 
Brothers Holding Inc. (LBHI) bankruptcy offers another stark lesson on 
how failures in risk management, documentation, and valuation can 
contribute to the ultimate collapse of an entire financial institution. 
During the days leading up the LBHI's bankruptcy, potential buyers were 
stymied by the state of Lehman's books.\63\ As recognized by 
PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a lessons learned document put together after 
the Lehman bankruptcy, effective risk management requires the existence 
of sound documentation, daily reconciliation of portfolios, rigorously 
tested valuation methodologies, and sound collateralization 
practices.\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ See In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 08-13555, and 
Giddens v. Barclays Capital Inc., 09-01732, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 
Southern District of New York; see also Linda Sandler, ``Lehman 
Derivatives Records a `Mess,' Barclays Executive Says,'' Bloomberg, 
Aug. 30, 2010, available at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-30/lehman-derivatives-records-a-mess-barclays-executive-says.html 
(reporting on testimony provided in previously cited Lehman 
bankruptcy proceeding).
    \64\ See PriceWaterhouseCoopers, ``Lehman Brothers' Bankruptcy: 
Lessons learned for the survivors,'' Informational presentation for 
clients, August 2009, at 12-24, available at http://www.pwc.com/en_JG/jg/events/Lessons-learned-for-the-survivors.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    More broadly, the President's Working Group (PWG) on Financial 
Policy noted shortcomings in the OTC derivative markets as a whole 
during the crisis. The PWG identified the need for an improved 
integrated operational structure supporting OTC derivatives, 
specifically highlighting the need for an enhanced ability to manage 
counterparty risk through ``netting and collateral agreements by 
promoting portfolio reconciliation and accurate valuation of trades.'' 
\65\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ The President's Working Group on Financial Markets, 
``Policy Statements on Financial Market Developments,'' Mar. 2008, 
available at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/fin-mkts/Documents/pwgpolicystatemktturmoil_03122008.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Congress sought to address the deficiencies in the regulatory 
system that contributed to the financial crisis through the enactment 
of the Dodd-Frank Act, which was signed by President Obama on July 21, 
2010.\66\ Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act amended the CEA \67\ to 
overhaul the structure and oversight of the OTC market that previously 
had been subject to little or no oversight.\68\ One of the cornerstones 
of this legislation is the establishment of a new statutory framework 
for comprehensive regulation of financial institutions that participate 
in the swaps market as SDs or MSPs, which must register and are subject 
to greater oversight and regulation.\69\ This new framework for SDs and 
MSPs seeks to reduce the potential for the recurrence of the type of 
financial and operational stresses that contributed to the 2008 crisis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010). The text of the 
Dodd-Frank Act is available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@swaps/documents/file/hr4173_enrolledbill.pdf.
    \67\ 7 U.S.C. 1, et seq.
    \68\ Prior to the adoption of Title VII, swaps and security-
based swaps were by and large unregulated. The CFMA excluded 
financial OTC swaps from regulation under the CEA, provided that 
trading occurred only among ``eligible contract participants.'' 
Swaps based on exempt commodities--including energy and metals--
could be traded among eligible contract participants without CFTC 
regulation, but certain CEA provisions against fraud and 
manipulation continued to apply to these markets. No statutory 
exclusions were provided for swaps on agricultural commodities by 
the CFMA, although they could be traded under certain regulatory 
exemptions provided by the CFTC prior to its enactment. Swaps based 
on securities were subject to certain SEC enforcement authorities, 
but the SEC was prohibited from prophylactic regulation of such 
swaps.
    \69\ The provisions of the CEA relating to swaps that were 
enacted by Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act are also referred to 
herein as ``the Dodd-Frank requirements.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Efforts to regulate the swaps market are underway not only in the 
United States but also abroad in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. 
In 2009, leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20)--whose membership includes 
the European Union (EU), the United States, and 18 other countries--
agreed that: (i) OTC derivatives contracts should be reported to trade 
repositories; (ii) all standardized OTC derivatives contracts should be 
cleared through central counterparties and traded on exchanges or 
electronic trading platforms, where appropriate, by the end of 2012; 
and (iii) non-centrally cleared contracts should be subject to higher 
capital requirements. In line with the G-20 commitment, much progress 
has been made to coordinate and harmonize international reform efforts, 
but the pace of reform varies among jurisdictions and disparities in 
regulations remain due to differences in cultures, legal and political 
traditions, and financial systems.\70\
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    \70\ Legislatures and regulators in a number of foreign 
jurisdictions are undertaking significant regulatory reforms over 
the swaps market and its participants. See CFTC and SEC, Joint 
Report on International Swap Regulation Required by Section 719(c) 
of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 
Jan. 31, 2012, at 23, available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@swaps/documents/file/dfstudy_isr_013112.pdf. For example, 
the European Parliament adopted the substance of the European Market 
Infrastructure Regulation (``EMIR'') on March 29, 2012. As discussed 
below, ESMA has proposed regulations that are very similar to those 
being adopted by the Commission in this release.

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[[Page 55944]]

    Even before the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, market participants 
and regulators had been paying particular attention to the post-trade 
processing of swaps. For example, operational issues associated with 
the OTC derivatives market have been the focus of reports and 
recommendations by the PWG.\71\ In response to the financial crisis in 
2008, the PWG called on the industry to improve trade matching and 
confirmation and to promote portfolio reconciliation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ See, e.g., Press Release, ``President's Working Group on 
Financial Markets, Progress Summary on OTC Derivatives Operational 
Improvements'' (Nov. 2008).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Significantly, beginning in 2005, the Federal Reserve Bank of New 
York (FRBNY) undertook a targeted, supervisory effort to enhance 
operational efficiency and performance in the OTC derivatives market, 
by increasing automation in processing and by promoting the timely 
confirmation of trades. Known as the OTC Derivatives Supervisors' Group 
(ODSG), the FRBNY led an effort with OTC derivatives dealers' primary 
supervisors, trade associations, industry utilities, and private 
vendors, through which market participants (including buy-side 
participants) regularly set goals and commitments to bring 
infrastructure, market design, and risk management improvements to all 
OTC derivatives asset classes. Over the years, the ODSG expanded its 
focus from credit derivatives to include interest rate derivatives, 
equity derivatives, foreign exchange derivatives, and commodity 
derivatives. Along with this expanded focus came increased engagement 
with market participants on cross-asset class issues. Specifically, the 
ODSG encouraged the industry to commit itself to a number of reforms, 
including improved operational performance with respect to the OTC 
derivatives confirmation process, portfolio reconciliation, and 
portfolio compression. The regulations being adopted by the Commission 
in this adopting release build upon the ODSG's work.\72\ The specific 
operational performance enhancements upon which each of the 
Commission's rules included in this adopting release expressly build, 
the comments to the rule proposals related to the costs and benefits of 
such rules, and the Commission's consideration of the costs and 
benefits of such rules are discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ ``No more Fed letter commitments expected, says Dudley,'' 
Risk Magazine, May 16, 2012, available at http://www.risk.net/risk-magazine/news/2174981/fed-letter-commitments-expected-dudley 
(William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 
stated ``Now we're moving to a new regime, where the OTC derivatives 
market is being regulated for the first time. As we do that, and the 
SEC and CFTC stand up in terms of regulation, it's completely 
appropriate for us to stand down.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This final rule implements Dodd-Frank Act section 731, which is an 
important component of the comprehensive set of reforms passed by 
Congress to protect the American public and ``promote the financial 
stability of the United States'' in the wake of a financial crisis and 
the resulting recession that was caused in part by the lack of adequate 
regulation of financial markets.\73\ The damage to the American public 
has been tremendous. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, 
over $19 trillion in household wealth and over 8.8 million jobs were 
lost during the recession that began in late 2008.\74\ Between 
September 2008 and May 2012 there have been approximately 3.6 million 
completed home foreclosures across the country.\75\ The U.S. Census 
Bureau estimates that the number of households living below the poverty 
level rose 2.6 percent from 2007 to 2010.\76\ The overarching purpose 
and benefit of this final rule, together with the other rules the 
Commission is implementing under Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act is to 
identify and fix the structural weaknesses that contributed to the 
financial crisis in an effort to avoid a repeat of the same.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ Dodd-Frank Act, Preamble.
    \74\ See U.S. Department of the Treasury, ``The Financial Crisis 
Response--In Charts,'' April 2012, available at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/Documents/20120413_FinancialCrisisResponse.pdf. See also Congressional Budget 
Office, The Budge and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012-2022, at 
26 (Jan. 2012) (explaining gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen 
dramatically and it is not expected to return to normal levels until 
at least 2018. At that time, the cumulative shortfall in GDP 
relative to potential GDP is expected to reach $5.7 trillion).
    \75\ See CoreLogic, ``CoreLogic Reports 66,000 Completed 
Foreclosures Nationally,'' May 2012, available at http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/news/corelogic-reports-66,000-completed-foreclosures-nationally-in-april.aspx.
    \76\ See U.S. Census Bureau, ``Income, Poverty, and Health 
Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010,'' at 14 (Sept. 2010), 
available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf.
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B. Swap Confirmation

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the rapid 
expansion of the trading volume of swaps, such as credit derivatives, 
since 2002, caused stresses on the operational infrastructure of market 
participants. These stresses, in turn, caused the participants' back 
office systems to fail to confirm the increased volume of trades for a 
period of time.\77\ The GAO found that the lack of automation in trade 
processing and the purported assignment of positions by transferring 
parties to third parties without notice to their counterparties were 
factors contributing to this backlog. If transactions, whether newly 
executed or recently transferred to another party, are left 
unconfirmed, there is no definitive written record of the contract 
terms. Thus, in the event of a dispute, the terms of the agreement must 
be reconstructed from other evidence, such as email trails or recorded 
trader conversations. This process is cumbersome and may not be wholly 
accurate. Moreover, if purported transfers of swaps, in whole or in 
part, are made without giving notice to the remaining parties and 
obtaining their consent, disputes may arise as to which parties are 
entitled to the benefits and subject to the burdens of the transaction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ U.S. Government Accountability Office, ``Credit 
Derivatives: Confirmation Backlogs Increased Dealers' Operational 
Risks, But Were Successfully Addressed After Joint Regulatory 
Action,'' GAO-07-716 (2007) at 3-4.
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    As the work of the ODSG demonstrates, the industry is capable of 
swift movement to contemporaneous execution and confirmation. A large 
back-log of unexecuted confirmations in the CDS market created by 
prolonged negotiations and inadequate confirmation procedures were the 
subject of the first industry commitments made by participating dealers 
to ODSG.\78\ In October 2005, the participating dealers committed to 
reduce by 30 percent the number of confirmations outstanding more than 
30 days within four months. In March 2006, the dealers committed to 
reduce the number of outstanding confirmations by 70 percent by June 
30, 2006. By September 2006, the industry had reduced the number of all 
outstanding CDS confirmations by 70 percent, and the number of CDS 
confirmations outstanding more than 30 days by 85 percent. The industry 
achieved these targets largely by moving 80 percent of total trade 
volume in CDS to confirmation on electronic platforms, eliminating 
backlogs in new trades.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ See October 4, 2005 industry commitment letter to the 
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, available at http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news_archive/markets/2005/an050915.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By the end of 2011, the largest dealers were electronically 
confirming over 95

[[Page 55945]]

percent of OTC credit derivative transactions, and 90 percent were 
confirmed on the same day as execution (T+0). For the same period, the 
largest dealers were electronically confirming over 70 percent of OTC 
interest rate derivatives (over 90 percent of trades with each other), 
and over 80 percent were confirmed T+0. The rate of electronic 
confirmation of OTC commodity derivatives was somewhat lower--just over 
50 percent, but over 90 percent for transactions between the largest 
dealers.\79\ These statistics provide some confidence that, over time, 
timely confirmation rates will continue to improve.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ See G15 Industry Confirmation Data dated April 4, 2012 
provided by ISDA, available at www.cftc.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The primary benefit of timely and accurate confirmation is that the 
parties to a swap know what their deal is. In other words, a 
confirmation definitively memorializes all of the terms of the swap 
transaction, which is critical for all downstream operational and risk 
management processes. If transactions, whether newly executed or 
recently transferred to another party, are left unconfirmed, there is 
no definitive written record of the contract terms. Risk management 
processes dependent on the trade terms (such as collateral management, 
and payment and settlement systems) may be inaccurate, and, in the 
event of a dispute, the terms of the agreement must be reconstructed 
from other evidence, such as email trails or recorded trader 
conversations.
    Recognizing the laudable gains in electronic confirmation 
processing by the industry and the risk reduction in the shortening of 
time periods between execution and confirmation, the Commission 
proposed a confirmation rule that would have required SDs and MSPs 
trading with each other to confirm their swap transactions within 15 
minutes if the swap transaction was executed and processed 
electronically, within 30 minutes if the swap transaction was only 
processed electronically, and within the same calendar day if the swap 
transaction could not be processed electronically. Similarly, the 
Commission proposed that SDs and MSPs have policies and procedures for 
confirming swap transactions with financial entities within the same 
calendar day, and with counterparties that are not SDs, MSPs, or 
financial entities not later than the next business day.
    Several commenters recognized the benefits of the Commission's 
confirmation proposal and wrote in support of the approach. Chris 
Barnard wrote that the proposal would increase transparency and promote 
legal certainty for swaps. CME stated that it supported the goals of 
improving the post-trade processing of swaps and ensuring timely and 
accurate confirmation of such data among counterparties. CME agreed 
with the overall approach taken by the Commission on this subject and 
with the goal of promulgating confirmation requirements that are 
effective, not duplicative and cost and time efficient to the industry. 
CME noted the cost-savings to market participants of confirming their 
swaps through DCOs, which is explicitly permitted under the swap 
confirmation rule.
    On the other hand, multiple commenters objected to the Commission's 
proposal on cost grounds. Some read the proposal as detrimentally 
mandating electronic confirmation.\80\ Other commenters argued that the 
short time periods permitted for confirmation would effectively require 
all terms of a swap to be negotiated prior to execution, increasing 
costs for the party that is most sensitive to timing of market 
conditions and increasing risk by leading to needless disputes and 
operational lapses.\81\ Still others argued that financial entities 
should not be subject to shorter confirmation deadlines than non-
financial entities.\82\ Finally, some commenters stated that the rule 
would require changes in current market practice and it was unclear 
that the cost of additional resources to meet the requirements of the 
rule was outweighed by any enhanced transparency or reduction in 
systemic risk.\83\ No commenter provided quantitative data on the 
comprehensive compliance costs of the rule as proposed, but ISDA and 
The Working Group enumerated costs related to adopting electronic 
confirmation procedures. ISDA stated that each asset class uses 
different electronic confirmation platforms, so a trader conducting 
trades in multiple asset classes would need to build the infrastructure 
necessary to integrate multiple platforms. Such expenditures are 
routine for dealers, says ISDA, but for smaller entities, the 
operational costs may impede their ability to hedge risk. The Working 
Group estimated that electronic confirmation could cost an SD or MSP in 
excess of $1,000,000 annually, citing that one third-party confirmation 
service charges $6.00 per trade. However, The Working Group cited no 
source for the proposition that potential SDs or MSPs currently execute 
the more than 166,000 trades annually that would be required to reach a 
$1,000,000 annual confirmation cost at $6.00 per trade.
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    \80\ Chatham argued that the Commission should not mandate 
confirmation through an electronic matching platform, because such a 
mandate could preclude end-users from entering into swaps not yet 
available on matching platforms and could increase costs for end-
users that do not engage in the volume of swaps necessary to justify 
the additional costs of connecting to electronic matching platforms. 
ABC & CIEBA also argued that the proposed rule could impose 
processes that require third-party service providers or new 
technology.
    \81\ The Working Group; ISDA; Chatham.
    \82\ CIEBA stated that the rule would impose costly increases in 
operational capacity for pension funds and recommended that the 
Commission provide for a ``close of next business day'' time limit 
for benefit plans, along with a requirement that SDs and MSPs 
provide an acknowledgement at the time of execution as well as a 
draft acknowledgement prior to execution. AMG argued that financial 
entities should not be subject to shorter time periods for 
confirmation because many may not have the operational resources to 
meet the deadlines. MFA stated that designation as a financial 
entity does not necessarily correlate with a large swap portfolio or 
being highly sophisticated, and thus the short time period for 
confirmation in the proposed rules may cause unwarranted economic 
disadvantages.
    \83\ BGA; MetLife; MFA; GFED; the FHLBs; AMG.
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    The Commission carefully considered each of these comments in 
formulating the final rule and has responded to the cost concerns of 
commenters where doing so was in keeping with the benefit of timely and 
accurate memorialization of all the terms of a swap transaction between 
an SD or MSP and its counterparties. First, the final rule does not 
apply to swap transactions that are executed on a SEF or DCM or that 
are submitted for clearing to a DCO by the required confirmation 
deadline, so market participants that mostly transact in standardized 
swaps may not be affected by the rule, or will have their costs greatly 
reduced. This fact was highlighted by both CME and ICE in their 
comments to the proposed rule.
    Second, the Commission notes that the final rule affirmatively does 
not mandate electronic confirmation. Instead, the final rule sets an 
ultimate deadline for confirmation of swap transactions among SDs and 
MSPs, while also requiring that if technologically practicable, such 
swap transactions be confirmed sooner. The deadline of ``the end of the 
first business day following the day of execution'' is modified to 
allow for more time if registrants are trading near the end of the 
trading day or if such registrants are in different time zones. With 
respect to swap transactions with non-SDs and non-MSPs, SDs and MSPs 
are only required to have policies and procedures in place that are 
reasonably designed to ensure confirmation by the end of the first 
business day following the day of execution (modified for end of day 
trading and time zone differences) for financial entities, or by

[[Page 55946]]

the end of the second business day following the day of execution for 
non-financial entities, rather than the next business day as proposed. 
The Commission would expect an SD's or MSP's policies and procedures to 
require sufficient pre-trade agreement on repetitive terms such that 
non-SD, non-MSP counterparties are able to execute in a timely manner 
without protracted pre-trade negotiations that may prove costly for 
market participants sensitive to execution timing. The requirement for 
policies and procedures (as opposed to hard deadlines) recognizes that 
SDs and MSPs cannot force their non-SD, non-MSP counterparties to adopt 
particular electronic confirmation processes, but must accommodate the 
needs of their counterparties while ensuring, to the extent possible, 
that confirmation is achieved within the rule's time periods.
    In addition, to further reduce the burden of the rule on those 
market participants that are least able to quickly adapt to the rule's 
requirements, the Commission notes that compliance with the rule is 
implemented on a staggered basis. As discussed above under section 
III.B.2, compliance is required first for swaps in the credit and 
interest rate asset class, and, within that asset class, first for 
swaps among SDs, MSPs, and financial entities with a longer compliance 
period for swaps between SDs or MSPs and non-financial entities. 
Compliance is staggered similarly with respect to all other swaps, but 
with longer compliance periods.
    The Commission understands that, for certain asset classes, the low 
number of transactions does not seem to justify increased expenditure 
on faster confirmations; however, the Commission is committed to 
decreasing the length of time between execution and confirmation in 
order to improve the efficiency of bilateral markets and decrease 
overall systemic risk resulting from outstanding unconfirmed trades 
among many participants. The Commission maintains that such benefits 
are significant and important regardless of asset class. Thus, the 
Commission has applied the same general timeframes to all asset 
classes, but has extended the compliance deadlines for commodity, 
equity, and foreign exchange asset classes in order to allow 
participants in those asset classes sufficient time to integrate faster 
confirmations without an immediate and potentially overwhelming burden.
    Finally, the Commission notes that ESMA has proposed confirmation 
requirements that are substantially similar to those adopted by the 
Commission in this release.\84\ By closely aligning confirmation 
requirements through consultation with ESMA, the Commission believes 
that SDs and MSPs will benefit from a largely unitary regulatory regime 
that does not require separate compliance and operational policies and 
procedures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ See ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 1 RM, 
subsection 2 (stating that uncleared OTC derivatives ``shall be 
confirmed, where available via electronic means, as soon as possible 
and at the latest by the end of the same business day.''), and ESMA 
Draft Technical Standards, Article 1 RM, subsection 3 (stating that 
uncleared OTC derivatives ``shall be confirmed as soon as possible 
and at the latest by the end of the second business day following 
the date of execution'').
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C. Portfolio Reconciliation

    Disputes related to confirming the terms of a swap, as well as swap 
valuation disputes, have long been recognized as a significant problem 
in the OTC derivatives market.\85\ Portfolio reconciliation is 
considered an effective means of identifying and resolving these 
disputes. The Commission recognizes that the industry has made 
significant progress in adopting the use of portfolio reconciliation to 
decrease the number of swap disputes.\86\ In December 2008, the ODSG's 
group of 14 major dealers committed to execute daily portfolio 
reconciliations for collateralized portfolios in excess of 500 trades 
between participating dealers by June of 2009.\87\ As of May 2009, all 
participating dealers were satisfying this commitment. In October 2009, 
the ODSG committed to publishing a feasibility study on market-wide 
portfolio reconciliation that would set forth how regular portfolio 
reconciliation could be extend beyond the ODSG dealers to include 
smaller banks, buy-side participants, and derivative end users. 
Consistent with this publication, the ODSG dealers expanded their 
portfolio reconciliation commitment in March 2010 to include monthly 
reconciliation of collateralized portfolios in excess of 1,000 trades 
with any counterparty. Most recently, the industry has been preparing a 
new ``Convention on the Investigation of Disputed Margin Calls'' and a 
new ``Formal Market Polling Procedure'' that are intended to ``create a 
consistent and predictable process * * * that eliminates present 
uncertainties and delays.'' \88\
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    \85\ See ISDA Collateral Committee, ``Commentary to the Outline 
of the 2009 ISDA Protocol for Resolution of Disputed Collateral 
Calls,'' June 2, 2009 (stating ``Disputed margin calls have 
increased significantly since late 2007, and especially during 2008 
have been the driver of large (sometimes > $1 billion) un-
collateralized exposures between professional firms.'').
    \86\ The Commission also recognizes and encourages the industry 
practice of immediately transferring undisputed collateral amounts.
    \87\ See June 2, 2009 summary of industry commitments, available 
at http://www.isda.org/c_and_a/pdf/060209table.pdf.
    \88\ See ``ISDA 2010 Convention on the Investigation of Disputed 
Margin Calls'' and ``ISDA 2010 Formal Market Polling Procedure.''
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    In light of these efforts the Commission proposed Sec.  23.502, 
which required SDs and MSPs to reconcile their swap portfolios with one 
another and provide counterparties that are not registered as SDs or 
MSPs with regular opportunities for portfolio reconciliation. 
Specifically, proposed Sec.  23.502 required SDs and MSPs to reconcile 
swap portfolios with other SDs or MSPs with the following frequency: 
daily for portfolios consisting of 300 or more swaps, at least weekly 
for portfolios consisting of 50 to 300 swaps, and at least quarterly 
for portfolios consisting of fewer than 50 swaps. For portfolios with 
counterparties other than SDs or MSPs, the proposed regulations 
required SDs and MSPs to establish policies and procedures for 
reconciling swap portfolios: daily for swap portfolios consisting of 
500 or more swaps, weekly for portfolios consisting of more than 100 
but fewer than 500 swaps, and at least quarterly for portfolios 
consisting of fewer than 100 swaps. In order for the marketplace to 
realize the full risk reduction benefits of portfolio reconciliation, 
the Commission also proposed to expand portfolio reconciliation to all 
transactions, whether collateralized or uncollateralized. For the swap 
market to operate efficiently and to reduce systemic risk, the 
Commission believes that portfolio reconciliation should be a proactive 
process that delivers a consolidated view of counterparty exposure down 
to the transaction level. By identifying and managing mismatches in key 
economic terms and valuation for individual transactions across an 
entire portfolio, the Commission proposal sought to require a process 
in which overall risk can be identified and reduced.
    Agreement between SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties on the proper 
daily valuation of the swaps in their swap portfolio also is essential 
for the Commission's margin proposal. Under proposed rule Sec.  23.151, 
non-bank SDs and MSPs must document the process by which they will 
arrive at a valuation for each swap for the purpose of collecting 
initial and variation margin.\89\

[[Page 55947]]

All non-bank SDs and MSPs must collect variation margin from their non-
bank SD, MSP, and financial entity counterparties for uncleared swaps 
on a daily basis. Variation margin requires a daily valuation for each 
swap. For swaps between non-bank SDs and MSPs and non-financial 
entities, no margin is required to be exchanged under Commission 
regulation, but the non-bank SDs and MSPs must calculate a hypothetical 
variation margin requirement for each uncleared swap for risk 
management purposes under proposed Sec.  23.154(b)(6).
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    \89\ See Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants, 76 FR 23732, 23744 (April 28, 
2011). Bank SDs and MSPs will also be required to document the 
process by which they will arrive at a valuation for each swap for 
the purpose of collecting margin under the margin rules proposed by 
the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC. See Margin and 
Capital Requirements for Covered Swap Entities, 76 FR 27564, 27589 
(May 11, 2011).
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    Several commenters articulated the benefits of portfolio 
reconciliation and supported the Commission's proposal. TriOptima 
supported the regular reconciliation of all portfolios as a process 
that will identify issues that can minimize counterparty credit 
exposure and operational risk. Chris Barnard also supported the rule, 
stating that the rule should increase transparency, promote market 
integrity and reduce risk by establishing procedures that will promote 
legal certainty concerning swap transactions, assist with the early 
resolution of valuation disputes, reduce operational risk, and increase 
operational efficiency.
    Conversely, multiple commenters objected to proposed Sec.  23.502 
on cost grounds. Some commenters argued that the rule would require 
significant investment in new infrastructure and some argued that the 
rule would have few benefits for SDs and MSPs that trade in shorter 
dated swaps.\90\ Others asserted that portfolio reconciliation at the 
transactional level was only necessary if there are portfolio level 
discrepancies that result in margin disputes, and argued that routine 
reconciliation at the proposed frequency was unnecessarily costly.\91\ 
Some argued that the swap portfolios of non-SDs, non-MSPs do not pose 
significant risk to the financial system and the rule may increase the 
costs of swaps for such entities.\92\ Still others argued that the 
Commission must provide sufficient time for all registrants to develop 
the infrastructure required to meet the frequency of reconciliation 
required by the rule.
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    \90\ GFED.
    \91\ MFA; ISDA; The Working Group; MarkitSERV; AMG.
    \92\ Dominion; FHLBs; Chatham.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In relation to the one business day valuation dispute resolution 
requirement, many commenters stated that parties to a good-faith 
dispute should have a commercially reasonable timeframe in which to 
consult in order to find an appropriate resolution of the dispute. 
These commenters supported ISDA's 2011 Convention on Portfolio 
Reconciliation and the Investigation of Disputed Margin Calls and the 
2011 Formal Market Polling Procedure, developed pursuant to industry 
commitments to the ODSG, which ISDA believes will be widely adopted by 
OTC derivatives market participants, and believed these industry 
efforts should play a more significant role in shaping the proposed 
reconciliation rules.\93\ Other commenters argued that SDs and MSPs 
should not have to expend resources to resolve valuation disputes 
exceeding the proposed 10 percent threshold if they conclude that the 
discrepancy is not material in their particular circumstances.\94\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ ISDA; The Working Group; FHLBs; AMG.
    \94\ Chatham; The Working Group; MFA; ISDA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission carefully considered each of the foregoing comments 
in formulating the final rule.
    It should be noted that the Confirmation NPRM stated that the 
Commission anticipated that SDs and MSPs will be able to efficiently 
reconcile their internal records with their counterparties by reference 
to data in SDRs. The Commission received no comments disputing this 
assertion, and one commenter noted that SDRs would be in the best 
position to detect and manage discrepancies in the material terms of a 
swap transaction both efficiently and effectively.\95\ The Commission 
has thus determined to adopt the portion of the rule that requires SDs 
and MSPs to reconcile the material terms of each swap in their swap 
portfolios in addition to reconciling the valuation of each swap but, 
at the urging of commenters, has reduced the required frequency of 
reconciliation to match the frequency of reconciliation currently 
undertaken by the largest prospective SDs.\96\ The final rules require 
SDs and MSPs to reconcile portfolios with other SDs and MSPs at the 
following frequencies: daily for portfolios comprising 500 or more 
swaps; weekly for portfolios comprising 51 to 499 swaps; and quarterly 
for portfolios comprising one to 50 swaps. The Commission believes that 
the frequency of reconciliation of material terms and valuations of 
each swap required by the rule as modified will ensure the risk-
reducing benefits of reconciliation by presenting a consolidated view 
of counterparty exposure down to the transaction level, and that these 
benefits are especially noteworthy when considered in light of the 
efficiencies possible through use of SDR data in the reconciliation 
process.
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    \95\ FHLBs.
    \96\ In December 2008, the ODSG's group of 14 major dealers 
committed to execute daily portfolio reconciliations for 
collateralized portfolios in excess of 500 trades between 
participating dealers by June of 2009. See June 2, 2009 summary of 
industry commitments, available at http://www.isda.org/c_and_a/pdf/060209table.pdf. As of May 2009, all participating dealers were 
satisfying this commitment. The ODSG dealers expanded their 
portfolio reconciliation commitment in March 2010 to include monthly 
reconciliation of collateralized portfolios in excess of 1,000 
trades with any counterparty.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Having considered comments that the frequency of reconciliation 
with non-SD, non-MSP counterparties required by the rule was 
unnecessary to achieve the benefits of portfolio reconciliation 
outlined above, the Commission is also reducing the frequency of 
reconciliation required for non-registrant counterparties and is 
modifying the final rule to require reconciliation with such 
counterparties quarterly for swap portfolios of more than 100 swaps, 
and annually for all other swap portfolios. This level was recommended 
by commenters, including The Working Group.
    With respect to the proposed rule's one business day deadline for 
valuation dispute resolution among SDs and MSPs, the Commission 
observes that daily valuation is critical for the appropriate operation 
of the Commission's proposed rules on margin, which is itself essential 
for the mitigation of risk posed by swaps. Issues related to swap 
valuations are woven through a number of Commission rule proposals. For 
instance, Sec.  23.504(e), as adopted in this release, requires SDs and 
MSPs to report valuation disputes with SD or MSP counterparties in 
excess of $20,000,000 and lasting longer than three business days to 
the Commission, while under Sec.  23.504(b)(4) SDs and MSPs are 
required to agree on valuation methodologies with their counterparties.
    However, the Commission recognizes that valuation dispute 
resolution may be labor intensive and therefore costly. For this 
reason, the Commission modified the rule to provide for a five-day 
resolution process. In addition to this change, the Commission notes 
that, the costs of valuation dispute resolution are mitigated by the 
operation of several other parts of the new regulatory regime for 
swaps. First, the reconciliation requirements, and thus the valuation 
dispute resolution requirement, does not apply to cleared swaps, 
because DCOs establish settlement prices for each cleared swap every 
business day. It is likely that a large part of the swap

[[Page 55948]]

portfolios of SDs and MSPs will consist of cleared swaps \97\ to which 
the reconciliation requirements will not apply; valuation disputes will 
therefore only arise in bilateral, uncleared portfolios. Second, the 
reconciliation requirements of Sec.  23.503 are expected to avoid 
disputes from arising in the first instance through the regular 
comparison of material terms and valuations. Third, the Commission 
expects that Sec.  23.504(b)(4), by requiring agreement with each 
counterparty on the methods and inputs for valuation of each swap, will 
assist SDs and MSPs to resolve valuation disputes within five business 
days.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \97\ ``It is expected that the standardized, plain vanilla, high 
volume swaps contracts--which according to the Treasury Department 
are about 90 percent of the $600 trillion swaps market--will be 
subject to mandatory clearing.'' 156 Cong. Rec. S5921 (daily ed. 
Jul. 15, 2010) (statement of Sen. Lincoln). The Tabb group estimates 
that 60-80 percent of the swaps market measured by notional amount 
will be cleared within five years of the time that the Dodd-Frank 
Act is implemented. See Tabb Group, ``Technology and Financial 
Reform: Data, Derivatives and Decision Making.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SDs and MSPs need not resolve every valuation dispute, but only 
those where the difference in valuation is 10 percent or more. The 
Commission believes the 10 percent threshold is appropriate as it 
provides certainty as to which disputes must be resolved. The 
Commission believes the efficiency of a bright line rule, as opposed to 
the formulas and discretion in the alternatives suggested by 
commenters, will better serve the operational processes of SDs and MSPs 
and the regulatory oversight of the Commission. Thus, to maintain the 
risk mitigation benefits of the rule outlined above, the Commission has 
determined to retain the requirement that swap valuation disputes among 
SDs and MSPs be resolved within five business days.
    As a further cost reduction measure, the Commission notes that it 
has extended the compliance dates for those SDs and MSPs that have not 
been previously regulated by a prudential regulator, and thus are least 
likely to have the infrastructure in place to begin regular 
reconciliation with their counterparties. As stated in section III.B.3 
above, SDs and MSPs that have been previously regulated need not comply 
with the rule for three months after publication of the final rule in 
the Federal Register. SDs and MSPs that have not been previously 
regulated need not comply for six months after publication.
    Finally, the Commission notes that ESMA has proposed portfolio 
reconciliation requirements that are substantially similar to those 
adopted by the Commission in this release.\98\ By closely aligning 
portfolio reconciliation requirements through consultation with ESMA, 
the Commission believes that SDs and MSPs will benefit from a largely 
unitary regulatory regime that does not require separate compliance and 
operational policies and procedures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \98\ See ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 2 RM, 
subsection 4, (stating that ``In order to identify at an early 
stage, any discrepancy in a material term of the OTC derivative 
contract, including its valuation, the portfolio reconciliation 
shall be performed: * * * each business day when the counterparties 
have 500 or more OTC derivative contracts outstanding with each 
other; * * * once per month for a portfolio of fewer than 300 OTC 
derivative contracts outstanding with a counterparty; * * * once per 
week for a portfolio between 300 and 499 OTC derivative contracts 
outstanding with a counterparty.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Portfolio Compression

    Portfolio compression is a mechanism whereby substantially similar 
transactions among two or more counterparties are terminated and 
replaced with a smaller number of transactions of decreased notional 
value in an effort to reduce the risk, cost, and inefficiency of 
maintaining unnecessary transactions on the counterparties' books. In 
many cases, these redundant or economically-equivalent positions serve 
no useful business purpose, but can create unnecessary risk,\99\ as 
well as operational and capital inefficiencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \99\ Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 424: 
``Policy Perspectives on OTC Derivatives Market Infrastructure,'' 
Jan. 2010 (revised Mar. 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The usefulness of portfolio compression as a risk management tool 
has been acknowledged widely. In 2008, the PWG identified frequent 
portfolio compression of outstanding trades as a key policy objective 
in the effort to strengthen the OTC derivatives market 
infrastructure.\100\ Similarly, the 2010 staff report outlining policy 
perspectives on OTC derivatives infrastructure issued by the FRBNY 
identified trade compression as an element of strong risk management 
and recommended that market participants engage in regular, market-wide 
portfolio compression exercises.\101\
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    \100\ ``Policy Objectives for the OTC Derivatives Markets,'' 
President's Working Group on Financial Markets (Nov. 14, 2008).
    \101\ Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 424: 
``Policy Perspectives on OTC Derivatives Market Infrastructure,'' 
Jan. 2010 (revised Mar. 2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The value of portfolio compression also is illustrated by existing 
market participation in compression exercises. In March 2010, the 
Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) explicitly attributed 
the reduction in the gross notional value of the credit derivatives in 
its warehouse to industry supported portfolio compression.\102\ 
TriOptima, which offers the TriReduce portfolio compression service, 
estimates that it terminated $106.3 trillion gross notional of interest 
rate swaps and $66.9 trillion gross notional of credit swaps between 
2003 and 2010.\103\ Similarly, Creditex and Markit, which offer 
portfolio compression exercises in single name credit default swaps, 
enabled participating institutions to eliminate $4.5 trillion in 
notional between late 2008 through 2009.\104\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \102\ DTCC Press Release, ``DTCC Trade Information Warehouse 
Completes Record Year Processing OTC Credit Derivatives'' (Mar. 11, 
2010). Notably, beginning in August 2008, ISDA encouraged 
compression exercises for credit default swaps by selecting the 
service provider and defining the terms of service.
    \103\ See www.trioptima.com. Between 2007 and 2008, TriOptima 
reduced $54.7 trillion gross notional of interest rate swaps and 
$49.1 trillion gross notional of credit swaps. In March of 2010, the 
staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated that since 
2008 nearly $50 trillion gross notional of credit default swap 
positions has been eliminated through portfolio compression. Federal 
Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report No. 424: ``Policy Perspectives 
on OTC Derivatives Market Infrastructure,'' Jan. 2010 (revised Mar. 
2010).
    \104\ See www.isdacdsmarketplace.com.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In light of the recognized benefits of portfolio compression in 
reducing the risk, cost, and inefficiency of maintaining unnecessary 
transactions, the Commission proposed Sec.  23.503, which required SDs 
and MSPs to participate in multilateral compression exercises that are 
offered by those DCOs or self-regulatory organizations of which the SD 
or MSP is a member, or as required by Commission regulation or order. 
The Commission also proposed that SDs and MSPs be required to terminate 
bilaterally all fully offsetting swaps between them by the close of 
business on the business day following the day the parties entered into 
the offsetting swap transaction and to engage annually in bilateral 
portfolio compression exercises with counterparties that are also SDs 
and MSPs to the extent that they have not participated in a 
multilateral compression exercise. Proposed Sec.  23.503 did not 
require portfolio compression exercises for swaps outstanding between 
an SD or MSP and counterparties that are neither SDs nor MSPs. Instead, 
SDs and MSPs were required to establish written policies and procedures 
for periodically terminating all fully offsetting swaps and 
periodically engaging in compression exercises with such 
counterparties.
    Several commenters supported the Commission's proposal and outlined 
the benefits of the approach. For instance,

[[Page 55949]]

Blackrock wrote in support of the Commission's proposal and encouraged 
the Commission to expand the proposal in order to achieve what 
Blackrock believes to be the essential benefits of compression. In 
addition, Eris Exchange wrote in support of compression and noted that 
it should lead to greater position netting and the ability to more 
freely unwind aged swap trades without having to go through a 
cumbersome novation process involving substantial operational burden 
and negotiated up-front payments.
    On the other hand, multiple commenters objected to proposed Sec.  
23.503 on cost grounds. Some commenters argued that resource-intensive 
compression exercises should not be required in asset classes where 
there is not a high degree of transaction standardization and a high 
volume of redundant trades because the benefits would not outweigh the 
costs.\105\ Similarly, many commenters argued that non-SD 
counterparties should not be included in any mandatory compression 
because such entities have portfolios with a very small number of 
offsetting transactions (i.e., almost all swaps are in the same market 
direction) and the cost of the exercise is not justified by the small 
benefit derived.\106\ Other commenters noted that it is not cost 
effective to establish and run daily systems to monitor for fully 
offsetting swaps where there are likely to be none.\107\ On another 
tack, some commenters argued against requiring participation in 
compression exercises offered by DCOs and SROs to avoid lack of 
competition and higher costs.
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    \105\ ISDA; The Working Group; Markit.
    \106\ TriOptima; Markit; ISDA; ABC & CIEBA; AMG; Chatham; 
Dominion; FHLBs; Freddie Mac; MetLife; MFA; NAIC; GFED.
    \107\ The Working Group.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission carefully reviewed the comments received with 
respect to proposed Sec.  23.503 and considered each in formulating the 
final rule. Partly in response to the comments received regarding the 
costs imposed by the proposed rule, the Commission has revised the rule 
to reduce the cost burden on market participants. First, the Commission 
has determined to exclude swaps cleared by a DCO from the rule. As 
noted above, each DCO is required to establish portfolio compression 
procedures, but participation in such compression exercises by clearing 
members is voluntary. Accordingly, the revisions to Sec.  23.503 are 
consistent with the revised DCO final rules with respect to cleared 
swaps. Second, the Commission was persuaded that the benefits of the 
rule could be maintained without requiring SDs and MSPs to incur the 
costs of mandatory compression. Thus, as discussed in more detail 
above, the Commission is electing to adopt the alternative suggested by 
commenters and is modifying the rule to replace the mandatory 
compression requirement with a requirement that SDs and MSPs establish 
policies and procedures for periodically engaging in portfolio 
compression exercises with counterparties that are also SDs or MSPs and 
for engaging in portfolio compression with all other counterparties 
upon request. The Commission is qualifying the requirement that SDs and 
MSPs terminate fully offsetting swaps by requiring instead that SDs and 
MSPs establish policies and procedures for terminating fully offsetting 
swaps in a timely fashion, but allowing SDs and MSPs to determine where 
it is appropriate to do so. The Commission believes that these 
modifications retain the benefits of portfolio compression while 
reducing the compliance costs to SDs and MSPs and costs that otherwise 
may have been incurred by other market participants.
    Finally, the Commission notes that ESMA has proposed portfolio 
compression requirements that are substantially similar to those 
adopted by the Commission in this release.\108\ By closely aligning 
portfolio compression requirements through consultation with ESMA, the 
Commission believes that SDs and MSPs will benefit from a largely 
unitary regulatory regime that does not require separate compliance and 
operational policies and procedures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \108\ See ESMA Draft Technical Standards, Article 3 RM, 
subsection 2, (stating that ``counterparties with 500 or more OTC 
derivative contracts outstanding which are not centrally cleared 
shall have procedures to regularly, and at least twice a year, 
analyse the possibility to conduct a portfolio compression exercise 
in order to reduce their counterparty credit risk and engage in such 
portfolio compression exercise.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Swap Trading Relationship Documentation

    The OTC derivatives markets traditionally have been characterized 
by privately negotiated transactions entered into by two 
counterparties, in which each party assumes and manages the credit risk 
of the other. While OTC derivatives are traded by a diverse set of 
market participants, such as banks, hedge funds, pension funds, and 
other institutional investors, as well as corporate, governmental, and 
other end-users, a relatively few number of dealers are, by far, the 
most significantly active participants. As such, the default of a 
dealer may result in significant losses for the counterparties of that 
dealer, either from the counterparty exposure to the defaulting dealer 
or from the cost of replacing the defaulted trades in times of market 
stress.\109\
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    \109\ See Financial Stability Board, ``Implementing OTC 
Derivatives Market Reforms: Report of the OTC Derivatives Working 
Group,'' (Oct. 10, 2010), available at http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_101025.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OTC derivatives market participants typically have relied on the 
use of industry standard legal documentation, including master netting 
agreements, definitions, schedules, and confirmations, to document 
their swap trading relationships. This industry standard documentation, 
such as the widely used ISDA Master Agreement and related definitions, 
schedules, and confirmations specific to particular asset classes, 
offers a framework for documenting the transactions between 
counterparties for OTC derivatives products.\110\ The standard 
documentation is designed to set forth the legal, trading, and credit 
relationship between the parties and to facilitate cross-product 
netting of transactions in the event that parties have to close-out 
their position with one another.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \110\ The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) 
is a trade association for the OTC derivatives industry (http://www.isda.org).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    One important method of addressing the credit risk that arises from 
OTC derivatives transactions is the use of bilateral close-out netting. 
Parties seek to achieve enforceable bilateral netting by documenting 
all of their transactions under master netting agreements.\111\ 
Following the occurrence of a default by one of the counterparties 
(such as bankruptcy or insolvency), the exposures from individual 
transactions between the two parties are netted and consolidated into a 
single net ``lump sum'' obligation. A party's overall exposure is 
therefore limited to this net sum. That exposure then may be offset by 
the available collateral previously provided being applied against the 
net exposure. As such, it is critical that the netting provisions 
between the parties are documented and legally enforceable and that the 
collateral may be used to meet the net exposure. In recognition of the 
risk-reducing benefits of close-out netting, many jurisdictions provide 
favorable treatment of netting

[[Page 55950]]

arrangements in bankruptcy,\112\ and favorable capital and accounting 
treatment to parties that have enforceable netting agreements in 
place.\113\
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    \111\ Enforceable bilateral netting arrangements are a common 
commercial practice and are an important part of risk management and 
minimization of capital costs.
    \112\ See e.g., 11 U.S.C. 561 (protecting contractual right to 
terminate, liquidate, accelerate, or offset under a master netting 
agreement and across contracts).
    \113\ See 12 CFR part 3, Appendix C; 12 CFR part 208, Appendix 
F; 12 CFR part 225, Appendix G; and 12 CFR part 325, Appendix D 
(banking regulations regarding qualifying master netting 
agreements).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There is also a risk that inadequate documentation of open swap 
transactions could result in collateral and legal disputes, thereby 
exposing counterparties to significant counterparty credit risk. By way 
of contrast, adequate documentation between counterparties offers a 
framework for establishing the trading relationship between the 
parties.
    To ensure the risk-reducing benefits of adequate swap trading 
relationship documentation, the Commission proposed Sec.  23.504. 
Proposed Sec.  23.504 required SDs and MSPs to establish, maintain, and 
enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure 
that each SD and MSP and its counterparties have agreed in writing to 
all of the terms governing their swap trading relationship and have 
executed all agreements required by proposed Sec.  23.504. These 
included agreement on terms related to payment obligations, netting of 
payments, events of default or other termination events, netting of 
obligations upon termination, transfer of rights and obligations, 
governing law, valuation, and dispute resolution procedures, as well as 
credit support arrangements, including margin and segregation. 
Agreement on valuation methodologies pursuant to Sec.  23.504(b)(4) is 
discussed separately below. In addition, proposed Sec.  23.504 required 
each SD and MSP to have an independent internal or external auditor 
examine annually at least 5 percent of the swap trading relationship 
documentation created during the year to ensure compliance with 
Commission regulations and the SD's or MSP's policies and procedures 
established pursuant to Sec.  23.504.
    Several commenters supported the rule. One stated that clear and 
thorough standards for documentation are essential to avoid the 
situation that became apparent when AIG and Lehman Brothers failed: A 
hopelessly tangled web of poorly documented transactions, with the 
effort to sort it all out emerging as a separate threat to the 
financial system.\114\ Others supported the goal of the rule to ensure 
that the parties to a trade have in fact agreed on its economic and 
legal terms prior to or contemporaneously with entering into a swap, 
and are communicating and maintaining appropriate records memorializing 
that agreement.\115\ However, many commenters also objected to the 
proposed rule on cost grounds.
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    \114\ Better Markets.
    \115\ ISDA & SIFMA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters strongly urged the Commission not to make Sec.  
23.504 retroactively applicable to existing swaps because the need to 
make amendments to existing documentation would be time consuming and 
costly.\116\ Having considered these comments, the Commission is 
adopting the alternative presented by commenters and is modifying Sec.  
23.504 to make clear that the rule does not apply to swaps executed 
prior to the date on which SDs and MSPs are required to be in 
compliance with Sec.  23.504. The Commission notes, however, that the 
rule does not prohibit SDs and MSPs from agreeing with their 
counterparties to amend existing swap trading relationship 
documentation to bring such documentation into compliance with Sec.  
23.504 (or any other Commission regulation) and ensure that netting 
arrangements will apply to swaps executed prior to and after 
promulgation of Sec.  23.504. The ability to combine netting sets in 
this manner may reduce costs of collateralization for many SDs and 
MSPs.
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    \116\ The Working Group; ISDA & SIFMA; FSR; MFA; FHLBs; The 
Coalition for Derivative End-Users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters were concerned that proposed Sec.  23.504 may 
require market participants to incur the burden and expense of 
negotiating master agreements even if a stand-alone agreement or 
``long-form'' confirmation that incorporates terms of a standard master 
agreement by reference would sufficiently address legal risks.\117\ The 
Commission notes, however, that nothing in the rule prohibits 
incorporation by reference so long as the terms so incorporated are in 
written form, and therefore confirms that so long as a ``long-form'' 
confirmation includes all terms of the trading relationship and is 
executed prior to or contemporaneously with entering into a swap 
transaction, such would be in compliance with Sec.  23.504.
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    \117\ OCC; IECA.
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    A number of comments reflected a concern regarding the requirement 
that SDs and MSPs audit no less than 5 percent of their trading 
relationship documentation annually, arguing that the requirement is 
burdensome and recommending that the Commission adopt an alternative, 
principles-based approach requiring SDs and MSPs to conduct audits 
sufficient to identify material weaknesses in their documentation 
policies and procedures. The Commission was persuaded that the audit 
requirement need not prescribe the percentage of agreements to be 
audited to maintain the benefits of the rule, and has modified the rule 
in accordance with the recommendations of commenters.
    In addition, several commenters recommended that valuation dispute 
reporting under Sec.  23.504(e) should be subject to a materiality 
standard to avoid an overly-burdensome reporting requirement that will 
result in substantial informational noise. The Commission agreed with 
these commenters and reduced the burden of the reporting requirement by 
revising the proposed rule to add a $20,000,000 threshold on the 
reporting of valuation disputes.
    Finally, the Commission recognizes that requiring implementation of 
the documentation requirements of Sec.  23.504 immediately or within a 
very compressed timeframe creates certain costs for industry 
participants. Consequently, reducing these costs--enumerated below--by 
extending the compliance schedule represents a benefit.
    First, to meet timelines some firms will need to contract 
additional staff or hire vendors to handle some necessary tasks or 
projects. Additional staff hired or vendors contracted in order to meet 
more pressing timelines represent an additional cost for market 
participants. Moreover, as pointed out by commenters, a tightly 
compressed timeframe raises the likelihood that more firms will be 
competing to procure services at the same time; this could put firms 
that conduct fewer swaps at a competitive disadvantage in obtaining 
those services, making it more difficult for them to meet required 
timelines.\118\ In addition, it could enable service providers to 
command a pricing premium when compared to times of ``normal'' or 
lesser competition for similar services. That premium represents an 
additional cost when compared to a longer compliance timeline.
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    \118\ See letter from CIEBA.
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    Second, if entities are not able to comply with the documentation 
requirements by a certain date, they may avoid transacting swaps 
requiring compliance until such a time as they are able to comply. In 
this event, liquidity

[[Page 55951]]

that otherwise would result from those foregone swaps would be reduced, 
making the swaps more expensive for market participants taking the 
other side. Moreover, firms compelled to withdraw from the market 
pending compliance with required documentation measures will either 
leave certain positions un-hedged--potentially increasing the firm's 
own default risk, and therefore the risk to their counterparties and 
the public. Alternatively, firms compelled to withdraw from the market 
for a period of time could attempt to approximate their foregone swap 
hedges using other, likely more expensive, instruments. Further, to the 
extent the withdrawing entities are market makers, they will forsake 
the revenue potential that otherwise would exist for the period of 
their market absence.
    Third, firms may have to implement technological solutions, sign 
contracts, and establish new operational procedures before industry 
standards have emerged that address new problems effectively. To the 
extent that this occurs, it is likely to create costs. Firms may have 
to incur additional costs later to modify their technology platforms 
and operational procedures further, and to renegotiate contracts--
direct costs that a more protracted implementation schedule would have 
avoided.\119\ Moreover, costs created by the adoption of standards that 
fail to address certain problems, or attributable to undesired 
competitive dynamics resulting from such standards, may be 
longstanding.
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    \119\ See e.g., ACLI letter.
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    The Commission, informed by its consideration of comments and 
alternatives, discussed in the sections above and below, believes that 
the approach contained in this adopting release is reasonable and 
appropriate in light of the tradeoffs described above. The compliance 
dates discussed above give the Commission the opportunity to provide 
additional time to entities in ways that generally align with: (1) 
Their resources and expertise, and therefore their ability to comply 
more quickly; and (2) their level of activity in the swap markets, and 
therefore the possible impact of their swap activities on the stability 
of the financial system. Entities with the most expertise in, and 
systems capable to transact, swaps also are likely to be those whose 
transactions represent a significant portion of all transactions in the 
swap markets. They are more likely to be able to comply quickly, and 
the benefits of requiring them to do so are greater than would be the 
case for less active entities. On the other hand, entities with less 
system capability and in-house swap expertise may need more time to 
comply with documentation requirements, but it is also likely that 
their activities represent a smaller proportion of the overall market, 
and therefore are less likely to create or exacerbate shocks to the 
financial system.\120\ The Commission believes that SDs, security-based 
swap dealers, MSPs, major security-based swap participants, and active 
funds (as defined above) are entities likely possessing more advanced 
systems and expertise, and whose swap activities constitute a 
significant portion of overall swap market transactions. On the other 
hand, other market participants may be less likely to have highly 
developed infrastructure and likely have swap activities that 
constitute a less significant proportion of the market. Therefore, the 
Commission has determined to stagger the compliance dates for Sec.  
23.504, providing 90, 180, or 270 days for SDs and MSPs to bring their 
swap trading relationship documentation into compliance with the rules, 
depending on the identity of the counterparty as discussed more fully 
in section III.B.1 above.
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    \120\ OCC data demonstrates that among insured US commercial 
banks, ``the five banks with the most derivatives activity hold 96 
percent of all derivatives, while the largest 25 banks account for 
nearly 100 percent of all contracts.'' The report is limited to 
insured US commercial banks, and also includes derivatives that are 
not swaps. However, swap contracts are included among the 
derivatives in the report, constituting approximately 63 percent of 
the total notional value of all derivatives. These statistics 
suggest that a relatively small number of banks hold the majority of 
swap positions that could create or contribute to distress in the 
financial system. Data is insufficient, however, to generalize the 
conclusions to non-banking institutions. See ``OCC's Quarterly 
Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities: Fourth Quarter 
2011'' p. 11. http://www.occ.treas.gov/topics/capital-markets/financial-markets/trading/derivatives/dq411.pdf.
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F. Swap Valuation Methodologies

    Swap valuation disputes have long been recognized as a significant 
problem in the OTC derivatives market.\121\ The ability to determine 
definitively the value of a swap at any given time lies at the center 
of many of the OTC derivatives market reforms contained in the Dodd-
Frank Act and is a cornerstone of risk management. Swap valuation is 
also crucial for determining capital and margin requirements applicable 
to SDs and MSPs and therefore plays a primary role in risk mitigation 
for uncleared swaps.
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    \121\ See ISDA Collateral Committee, ``Commentary to the Outline 
of the 2009 ISDA Protocol for Resolution of Disputed Collateral 
Calls,'' June 2, 2009 (stating ``Disputed margin calls have 
increased significantly since late 2007, and especially during 2008 
have been the driver of large (sometimes > $1 billion) un-
collateralized exposures between professional firms.'').
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    The Commission recognizes that swap valuation is not always an easy 
task. In some instances, there is widespread agreement on valuation 
methodologies and the source of formula inputs for frequently traded 
swaps. Many of these swaps have been accepted for clearing for a number 
of years (i.e., commonly traded interest rate swaps and CDS). However, 
parties often dispute valuations of thinly traded swaps where there is 
not widespread agreement on valuation methodologies or the source for 
formula inputs. Many of these swaps are thinly traded either because of 
their limited use as risk management tools or because they are simply 
too customized to have comparable counterparts in the market. As many 
of these swaps are valued by dealers internally by ``marking-to-
model,'' their counterparties may dispute the inputs and methodologies 
used in the model. As uncleared swaps are bilateral, privately 
negotiated contracts, on-going swap valuation for purposes of initial 
and variation margin calculation and swap terminations or novations, 
has also been largely a process of on-going negotiation between the 
parties. The inability to agree on the value of a swap became 
especially acute during the 2007-2009 financial crisis when there was 
widespread failure of the market inputs needed to value many 
swaps.\122\
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    \122\ The failure of the market to set a price for mortgage-
backed securities led to wide disparities in the valuation of CDS 
referencing mortgage-backed securities (especially collateralized 
debt obligations). Such wide disparities led to large collateral 
calls from dealers on AIG, hastening its downfall. See CBS News, 
``Calling AIG? Internal Docs Reveal Company Silent About Dozens Of 
Collateral Calls,'' Jun. 23, 2009, available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/06/23/cbsnews_investigates/main5106672.shtml.
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    In light of these concerns, the Commission proposed Sec.  
23.504(b)(4), which required SDs and MSPs to include in their swap 
trading relationship documentation an agreement with their 
counterparties on the methods, procedures, rules, and inputs for 
determining the value of each swap at any time from execution to the 
termination, maturity, or expiration of such swap. The Commission 
believes that by requiring agreement between counterparties on the 
methods and inputs for valuation of each swap, Sec.  23.504(b)(4) will 
assist SDs and MSPs and their counterparties to arrive at valuations 
necessary for margining and internal risk management, and to resolve 
valuation disputes in a timely manner, thereby reducing risk.

[[Page 55952]]

    Commenters supported the valuation proposal in light of the 
benefits to risk management and adequate collateralization.\123\ 
Indeed, some commenters argued that the Commission should have been 
more prescriptive in its approach to valuation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \123\ Better Markets; Michael Greenberger; Chris Barnard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Multiple commenters, however, objected to Sec.  23.504(b)(4) on 
cost grounds. Specifically, commenters stated that the rule will 
significantly increase the pre-execution swap negotiation burden on 
SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties without an offsetting benefit.\124\ 
Some commenters also objected that the rule may discourage the 
development of more refined, dynamic swap valuation models that are 
more accurate, and therefore more efficient, than less sophisticated or 
vanilla models.\125\
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    \124\ The Working Group; ISDA & SIFMA; FSR; Markit; Freddie Mac; 
COPE; MFA; FHLBs; CIEBA; EEI; Coalition of Derivatives End-Users. 
Several of these commenters stated that such pre-execution 
negotiations could take months to complete, if possible at all.
    \125\ OCC; Hess.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Other commenters offered alternatives to requiring SDs and MSPs to 
agree on valuation methodologies with their counterparties. Many 
recommended that the Commission focus its rules on the valuation 
dispute resolution process, rather than valuation methodologies.\126\ 
One recommended that the rule include an explicit authorization for 
parties to use the services of independent third parties to provide any 
or all of the elements required to agree upon the valuation of swaps, 
and not include any preferable inputs or pricing sources for the 
valuation of swaps.\127\ Another recommended that the rule be deleted 
and replaced with a requirement that SDs and MSPs provide information 
to substantiate their valuations upon the request of a 
counterparty.\128\
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    \126\ The Working Group; Morgan Stanley; MFA; IECA; FHLBs; 
CIEBA; MetLife.
    \127\ Markit.
    \128\ Coalition of Derivatives End-Users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed above, the Commission is substantially modifying the 
rule in response to concerns raised and alternatives suggested by 
commenters. Many of the changes being made in the rule adopted by this 
release address the cost concerns and alternatives outlined above. 
First, the rule has been focused on the valuation needed to meet the 
margin requirements under section 4s(e) of the CEA and the Commission's 
regulations under part 23, and to meet the risk management requirements 
under section 4s(j) of the Act and the Commission's regulations under 
part 23. The Commission believes that this change, by focusing the use 
of the agreed-upon valuation methodologies, will ease pre-execution 
negotiation and improve internal risk management processes. In 
addition, the Commission responded to concerns from market participants 
who feared they would have to agree on precise models, by clarifying 
that they had to agree on a process, which includes things such as 
methods, procedures, rules and inputs. Parties are free to agree on a 
model, agree to use one party's confidential proprietary model, rely on 
third-party vendors, or a host of other possibilities.
    Second, the rule has been modified such that SDs and MSPs need not 
agree on swap valuation methodologies with counterparties that are not 
SDs, MSPs, or financial entities, unless such counterparties request 
such agreements. The Commission believes that this change will 
alleviate the pre-execution negotiation burden on SDs, MSPs, and their 
non-financial entity counterparties by limiting such negotiations to 
counterparties that are more likely to use sophisticated valuation 
methodologies akin to those in use by the SD or MSP itself.
    Third, in response to commenters that objected that the rule may 
discourage the development of more refined, dynamic swap valuation 
models that are more accurate, and therefore more efficient, than less 
sophisticated or vanilla models, the Commission is modifying the rule 
to explicitly permit parties to agree on changes or procedures to 
modify their valuation agreements at any time. This change allows 
counterparties to determine an efficient means of changing the 
agreement for each contract to allow for evolution of valuation 
methodologies while maintaining the benefits of agreed-upon valuation 
methodologies.
    Fourth, in response to commenters' concerns regarding the 
protection of proprietary information used in valuation, the Commission 
is modifying the rules to make explicit that SDs and MSPs are not 
required to disclose to the counterparty confidential, proprietary 
information about any model it may use to value a swap. The Commission 
believes this clarification will alleviate concerns that proprietary 
information would have to be disclosed as a result of the valuation 
agreement process.
    Finally, the rule has been modified to allow for use of a valuation 
dispute resolution process in place of the proposed requirement that 
the documentation include alternative methods for determining the value 
of a swap in the event of the unavailability or failure of any input 
required to value the swap. The Commission believes this change lessens 
the negotiation and operational burden on SDs and MSPs.
    The Commission believes that the changes outlined above 
substantially reduce the burden of the rule on SDs, MSPs, and their 
counterparties without sacrificing the benefits of the rule. The rule 
will serve to assist SDs and MSPs and their counterparties in arriving 
at valuations necessary for margining and internal risk management, and 
in resolving valuation disputes in a timely manner, thereby reducing 
risk.

G. Summary of Cost and Benefit Considerations: Confirmation, Portfolio 
Reconciliation, and Portfolio Compression

    In the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission specifically requested 
comment on its consideration of costs and benefits. The Commission 
received a number of comments in addition to those discussed above.
    ISDA commented that registrants will incur substantial initial one-
time costs to develop, test, and implement new procedures and 
technology that are required in order to be compliant with the proposed 
rules. With regard to confirmation costs, ISDA asserted that market 
participants will have to invest in electronic platforms for 
confirmation for each asset class in order to meet the expedited 
timeframes for confirmation, which may be prohibitively expensive, 
particularly for non-SDs and non-MSPs. However, ISDA did not provide 
any quantitative data in support of this assertion despite multiple 
requests from Commission staff.\129\
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    \129\ See cftc.gov for information regarding staff meetings with 
ISDA pertaining to these final rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ISDA also argued that given the marked improvement in post-trade 
processing, as well as continued industry efforts and commitments to 
enhance post-trade processing in a targeted, efficient and safe manner, 
it is unclear whether the incremental benefits of the Commission's 
proposed standards applicable to all swap confirmations will outweigh 
the significant compliance costs that the confirmation requirements 
will entail.
    To comply with the portfolio reconciliation requirement promptly, 
ISDA believes firms that do not currently use an electronic platform or 
vendor service will need to expend significant time and resources, and 
even those firms that do use electronic platforms or vendor services to 
reconcile their portfolios will need to make significant adjustments to 
comply with the reconciliation requirement. ISDA believes that initial 
compliance

[[Page 55953]]

with the proposed rules will cost each entity approximately $5-10 
million and annual portfolio reconciliation expenses for a party with a 
large portfolio may rival and perhaps even exceed this upfront cost.
    The Working Group requested that the Commission address any 
requirement for electronic matching of all or certain types of swaps in 
a separate rulemaking that includes a careful study of the potential 
costs imposed by such a rule. The Working Group estimated, based on the 
$6.00 per trade fee of the ICE eConfirm service, that implementation of 
an electronic matching requirement would cost each registrant in excess 
of $1,000,000 annually. In addition, The Working Group asserted that 
there would be additional opportunity costs associated with no longer 
being able to enter into customized transactions.
    The Working Group requested that the Commission evaluate the 
proposed rules in light of its various recordkeeping and reporting 
proposals, as such may cause firms to incur tremendous administrative 
obligations to record changes to their swap portfolios, their 
accounting records, treasury arrangements and capital allocations, as 
well as incurring reporting obligations to SDRs on a swap-by-swap 
basis. The Working Group also presented a report prepared by NERA 
estimating that compliance with the proposed rules for some entities in 
this category would entail annual incremental costs of $1,400,000.\130\
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    \130\ NERA, Cost-Benefit Analysis of the CFTC's Proposed Swap 
Dealer Definition Prepared for the Working Group of Commercial 
Energy Firms, December 20, 2011. In the late-filed comment 
supplement, NERA estimates these costs for entities ``engaged in 
production, physical distribution or marketing of natural gas, 
power, or oil that also engage in active trading of energy 
derivatives''--termed ``nonfinancial energy companies'' in the 
report. The figure cited includes costs to comply with the proposed 
confirmation, portfolio reconciliation, and portfolio compression 
requirements and is based on the survey response of only one member 
of The Working Group. Elsewhere in the same report, NERA estimates 
the costs of compliance with the confirmation requirements alone at 
$235,000 for initial set-up and annual operating costs of $307,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FHLBs cautioned that SD compliance with the proposed rules 
could adversely impact end users in a number of ways, including (i) SD 
unwillingness to offer swaps important to end user risk management if 
the SD cannot comply with the rules in an economic manner; (ii) passing 
on of SD compliance costs to end user counterparties, discouraging some 
end users from using cost-effective risk management tools and raising 
overall system risk; and (iii) introduction of legal uncertainty as to 
the enforceability of swaps that fail to meet the confirmation 
deadlines of the proposed rules. The FHLBs also argued that certain 
swap documentation requires review by legal staff and the short 
deadline for confirmation would require pre-execution review by legal 
staff, even for swaps that are discussed but never actually executed, 
entailing costly and unnecessary legal expenditures.
    As discussed in the above sections, the Commission has modified 
many aspects of the proposed rules in order to mitigate the burden 
placed on market participants as identified by commenters while still 
achieving the important policy goals outlined above. The Commission 
has:
     Provided for a phased implementation plan, providing 
longer periods for compliance with the rule for those entities for 
which the rules will be most burdensome, with particularly long phasing 
of confirmation deadlines; \131\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \131\ This alternative was suggested by both ISDA and The 
Working Group, and the Commission has adopted it for these final 
rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Expanded the definition of ``multilateral portfolio 
compression exercise'' which increases flexibility of the rule;
     Removed the 15 and 30 minute acknowledgement and 
confirmation deadlines for swap transactions that are ``processed 
electronically'';
     Required draft trade acknowledgements only to be delivered 
upon request of a counterparty prior to execution;
     Adjusted confirmation deadlines for time zone differences 
and end of day trading, providing relief from more stringent deadlines;
     Provided a safe harbor from confirmation requirements for 
swaps executed on a SEF or DCM, or cleared by a DCO;
     Clarified which swap transactions require confirmation;
     Reduced the frequency of required portfolio reconciliation 
with non-SDs and MSPs;
     Changed the valuation dispute resolution requirement from 
``one business day'' to ``policies and procedures reasonably designed 
to ensure that valuation disputes are resolved within five business 
days;''
     Required portfolio compression with non-SDs and non-MSPs 
only upon request of the non-SD or non-MSP counterparty;
     Changed the mandatory portfolio compression requirement 
among SDs and MSPs to a requirement for policies and procedures for 
engaging in regular portfolio compression, where appropriate;
     Required fully-offsetting swaps to be terminated in a 
timely fashion (rather than within one business day) and only where 
appropriate; and
     Clarified that the compression rule does not apply to 
cleared swaps; compression of cleared swaps will be in accordance with 
the rules of the DCO.
    Through these changes, the Commission anticipates that many of the 
concerns raised by commenters regarding the costs of the rules will be 
mitigated.
    Confirmation. The Commission anticipates that there will be a 
significant adjustment for market participants to move to the faster 
timeframes required by the confirmation rules, particularly in those 
asset classes where the majority of transactions are manually 
confirmed. SDs and MSPs will have to design, compose, and implement 
policies and procedures reasonably designed to meet the confirmation 
timeframes; SDs and MSPs must also compile and maintain any applicable 
records. Participants may invest in electronic platforms for 
confirmation for each asset class in order to meet the expedited 
timeframes for confirmation. The Commission notes, however, that such 
investment is not necessarily required by the rules as market 
participants are able to confirm in any manner that meets the rule's 
deadline of the first business day after the day of execution (or two-
business day timeframe, for swap transactions with non-financial non-
registrants).
    With regard to confirmation, the historical context reveals that 
market participants, including all major swap dealers, have been 
working on achieving timely confirmation across all asset classes for 
the past 5-7 years. Consequently, additional costs related to 
confirmation technology for these entities would be minimal for those 
SDs and MSPs already achieving timely confirmation of their swap 
transactions. In addition, costs will be further minimized through a 
significant phase-in period. For example, SDs and MSPs will have up to 
two years to achieve compliance with the rules.
    Moreover, the Commission has sought to gather additional 
information about the costs of confirmation services from both ISDA and 
major third party service providers of confirmation services. 
Commission staff meetings with third party service providers have 
revealed that per trade or event confirmations can cost anywhere from 
$3 to $10 per transaction. It should be noted, however, that 
confirmation fee schedules can be complex and dependent on a host of 
idiosyncratic factors.

[[Page 55954]]

    The Commission notes The Working Group's estimate of approximately 
$1,000,000 per entity to implement an electronic matching requirement, 
but observes that the deletion of the phrase ``processed 
electronically'' from the rules should make clear to market 
participants that there is no requirement to confirm electronically. 
However, this estimate may be useful for individual entities to use as 
a reference figure for investment in electronic platforms.\132\
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    \132\ The Commission also notes the estimates provided by NERA, 
but observes that NERA did not provide sufficient information for 
the Commission to determine which portion of such estimates assumed 
implementation of an electronic matching requirement. Thus the 
Commission could not independently verify the estimates.
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    The Commission is unable to provide more specific quantification of 
the costs of confirmation given the unique characteristics of the swap 
portfolios of SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties, as well as the 
parties' discretion in choosing how to comply with the confirmation 
timeframe.
    As noted above, the Commission does not believe the rules requiring 
SDs and MSPs to have policies and procedures to achieve confirmation 
with their non-registrant counterparties should pose an unreasonable 
burden on end users. The Commission extended the confirmation deadline 
for non-financial, non-registrant counterparties to two business days 
after execution, lessening the rush to review and approve 
acknowledgements and/or confirmations while maintaining a relatively 
quick turn-around for these market participants. In addition, the 
Commission anticipates that the changed provisions regarding draft 
acknowledgements and compression--which give the non-SD or MSP 
counterparty the option as opposed to obligation--should ensure that 
such entities are protected from unfair practices without overburdening 
the operations of these entities.
    The benefits associated with quicker confirmation, as noted in 
sections III.C and IV.B of this release, include improvement of post-
execution operational and risk management processes, including the 
correct calculation of cash flows and discharge of settlement 
obligations as well as accurate measurement of counterparty credit 
exposure. Timely confirmation also allows any discrepancies, 
exceptions, and/or rejections of terms to be identified and resolved 
more quickly, lessening the risk of a dispute that could disrupt 
orderly market operations. In general, the rules regarding expedited 
confirmation should improve the efficient and orderly operations of 
bilateral markets through more effective risk management and dispute 
resolution. The extended compliance timeframes should allow for a 
smooth transition to the new rules as market participants prepare not 
only to meet these standards, but others imposed by new regulations 
under the Dodd-Frank Act.
    Reconciliation. In response to ISDA's concern that the 
reconciliation rules would require significant investment in electronic 
platforms for reconciliation, especially for those entities with large 
portfolios, the Commission reiterates its view that the advent of SDRs 
will eventually ease some of those costs by providing a central data 
location for most (if not all) the material terms that are required to 
be reconciled.
    Importantly, the Commission has not determined which processes for 
reconciliation are the most appropriate, which means that each market 
participant can choose the method for reconciliation that best fits its 
own internal structure and cost-benefit analysis, provided such method 
comports with the Commission's requirements. In addition, the changes 
listed above--including the reduced frequency of reconciliation for 
portfolios between SDs or MSPs and their non-SD or non-MSP 
counterparties--should ease the burden of reconciling portfolios. While 
the Commission has been unable to independently verify the $5-10 
million estimate for portfolio reconciliation provided by ISDA, the 
Commission expects that the changes herein as well as the increased use 
of SDRs will lessen the estimated cost considerably.
    In the Confirmation NPRM, the Commission asserted that the costs of 
the proposed rules would be minimized by the fact that most SDs and 
MSPs reconcile their swap portfolios as part of a prudent operational 
processing regime that many, if not most, SDs and MSPs already 
undertake as part of their ordinary course of business. In response to 
these assertions, at least one commenter agreed that a large number of 
SDs and MSPs already regularly reconcile their portfolios with each 
other and with other entities and that the increased frequency and 
inclusion of smaller portfolios as proposed should prove no obstacle to 
such entities.\133\ Consequently, additional costs of the Commission's 
final rule would be minimal for those SDs and MSPs already engaged in 
regular portfolio reconciliation. In addition, the Commission's 
decision to extend the valuation dispute resolution requirement from 
one day responds to concerns from market participants about cost.
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    \133\ TriOptima letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given the widespread benefits of portfolio reconciliation, 
including increased risk management and fewer disputes to resolve, the 
Commission believes its final rules regarding reconciliation are 
appropriate notwithstanding the increased costs for some participants. 
The Commission recognizes that certain costs will still arise despite 
the changes the Commission has made. Such costs include (i) Increased 
costs to include all material terms rather than some subset of terms; 
(ii) the additional resources to design, compose, and implement the 
required policies and procedures; (iii) the additional resources needed 
to comply with the dispute resolution timeframes; and (iv) the 
compilation and maintenance of applicable records. These costs, 
however, are by nature specific to each entity's internal operations; 
absent specific cost estimates from commenters (which were not 
provided), the Commission cannot accurately provide estimations 
regarding the resources needed to comply. As stated above and in the 
NPRM, portfolio reconciliation is widely recognized as an effective 
means of identifying and resolving disputes regarding terms, valuation, 
and collateral. Reconciliation is beneficial not only to the parties 
involved but also to the markets as a whole. By identifying and 
managing disputed key economic terms or valuation for each transaction 
across a portfolio, overall risk can be diminished. Registrants will be 
able to identify and correct problems in their post-execution processes 
(including confirmation) in order to reduce the number of disputes and 
improve the integrity and efficiency of their internal processes. 
Expanding the universe of participants subject to reconciliation, 
therefore, can help to reduce the risk bilateral markets may pose to 
the broader financial system.
    Compression. Finally, the Commission believes its final rules 
regarding portfolio compression dramatically reduce costs as compared 
to the proposed rule; however, the Commission recognizes that costs 
will necessarily increase from the current state of the market. 
Participants will necessarily have to design, compose, and implement 
policies and procedures to regularly evaluate compression opportunities 
with their counterparties as well as those opportunities offered by 
third parties. However, given the large risk management benefits 
available from the regular compression of offsetting trades--benefits 
including reduced risk

[[Page 55955]]

and enhanced operational efficiency--the Commission believes the final 
rules are appropriate to ensure the fair and orderly operation of 
bilateral derivatives markets.
    In terms of quantification of the costs of compression, the 
Commission notes that in its Confirmation NPRM, it stated that there 
are a number of third-party vendors that provide compression, and some 
of these providers charge fees based on results achieved (such as 
number of swaps compressed). No commenter refuted this statement or 
provided alternative information regarding quantification.

H. Section 15(a) Considerations: Confirmation, Portfolio 
Reconciliation, and Portfolio Compression

1. Protection of Market Participants and the Public
    The final rules relating to confirmation, portfolio reconciliation, 
and portfolio compression protect market participants by improving 
operational efficiency and mitigating legal risk. In turn, the 
reduction of risk in bilateral markets can reduce risk across the 
interconnected financial system, protecting the public from costly 
market disruptions.
    Timely confirmation protects market participants by providing 
certainty as to obligations between SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties 
while allowing a more efficient processing of disputed terms that may 
become apparent during the confirmation process. Disputes regarding 
terms and conditions, when left unresolved, can expose market 
participants to significant counterparty credit risk. By diminishing 
the number of these disputes that occur and by decreasing the length of 
time in which they are resolved, the Commission believes these rules 
protect participants from such unnecessary risk.
2. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Derivatives 
Markets
    The final rules improve the efficiency of the market by decreasing 
the amount of time trades remain outstanding, improving the processes 
by which trades are confirmed, and requiring participants to eliminate 
unnecessary trades. Trades that remain unconfirmed for extended periods 
of time create inefficient backlogs that inhibit the orderliness of the 
market. Proper confirmation, compression, and reconciliation policies 
improve transparency in the market and increase efficiency by promoting 
the exchange of important market information. Requirements regarding 
confirmations and draft acknowledgements, as discussed above, provide 
non-financial entities with information necessary for confirming 
promptly. In addition, such draft acknowledgements may serve 
counterparties insofar as they might compare and assess counterparties, 
which should improve competition among SDs and MSPs.
3. Price Discovery
    The timeliness of confirmations, as required under these rules, 
should ensure that all terms including prices of transactions are 
agreed upon quickly and efficiently. This linking of price terms with 
all other swap terms should improve the information provided to the 
public and regulators through SDRs and other means, thereby improving 
the overall price discovery process. Periodic reconciliation and 
compression also aid in ensuring that unnecessary and/or offsetting 
trades are netted and that, should disputes arise, those disputes are 
promptly and effectively resolved. In this way, the pricing information 
communicated regarding trades conducted under these rules should be 
accurate and timely, improving the price discovery function of 
bilateral derivatives markets.
4. Sound Risk Management
    As described throughout this release, the rules promulgated herein 
are designed to mitigate the risk in bilateral derivatives markets by 
ensuring the timely and accurate confirmation of trades, reconciliation 
of portfolios, and compression of portfolios. The final rules require 
actions, policies, and procedures on the part of SDs and MSPs to 
diminish operational risk, legal risk, and counterparty credit risk. 
The Commission believes these requirements will encourage sound risk 
management on the part of SDs and MSPs; given the systemically 
important nature of these entities, sound risk management by SDs and 
MSPs should improve the risk management of the financial system as a 
whole, lessening the risks associated with a major market crisis.
5. Other Public Interest Considerations
    The Commission has not identified other public interest 
considerations as a result of these rules.

I. Summary of Cost and Benefit Considerations: Swap Trading 
Relationship Documentation

    The Commission requested comment on its consideration of costs and 
benefits under section 15(a) of the CEA. The Commission received a 
number of responsive comments in addition to those discussed above.
    The Working Group stated that the Commission should articulate the 
public policy benefit of the proposed rule and present analysis that 
demonstrates such benefit exceeds the cost imposed on market 
participants and the Commission. IECA stated that the proposed 
regulations would impose administrative and regulatory costs in excess 
of any benefit gained. The Coalition for Derivatives End Users was 
concerned that the valuation provision will increase costs without a 
proportionate benefit. Markit stated that the proposed rule will make 
the process of transaction documentation very expensive and time 
consuming, and will lead to extremely technical and verbose swap 
documentation, noting that the need to negotiate such terms may impede 
effective trading. Markit thus believes the costs outweigh the 
benefits, and urges the Commission to impose more realistic 
requirements regarding valuation methodologies.
    IECA believes the Commission's cost-benefit analysis did not 
consider the legal review and management time expense for end users, 
which could be significant for small entities. IECA focuses on the 
Commission's estimates under the Paperwork Reduction Act, and 
challenges the Commission's use of $125 per hour for legal fees. IECA 
believes that $500 an hour is more appropriate for legal fees. IECA 
also believes that the Commission's estimate of an average of 10 hours 
per counterparty to negotiate the new documentation under Sec.  
23.504(b) is low, as the time needed must include not only negotiation, 
but also time for determining price points and inputs, decision-making 
time, and senior management time.
    The Working Group believes the Commission's implementation costs 
substantially underestimate the potential impact because: (i) Margin 
requirements have yet to be proposed and negotiation of credit support 
arrangements currently can take months; (ii) market participants are 
unlikely to agree to standardized valuation methodologies; (iii) the 
Commission does not specifically discuss the potentially substantial 
costs associated with the audit requirement under Sec.  23.504(e); 
\134\ and (iv) the

[[Page 55956]]

proposed rules would significantly alter the process by which parties 
enter into swaps, and such costs have not been considered.
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    \134\ The Working Group presented a report prepared by NERA 
estimating that compliance with the audit requirements in these and 
other proposed rules for some nonfinancial energy companies would 
entail annual incremental costs of $224,000. NERA, Cost-Benefit 
Analysis of the CFTC's Proposed Swap Dealer Definition Prepared for 
the Working Group of Commercial Energy Firms, December 20, 2011. In 
the late-filed comment supplement, NERA estimates these costs for 
entities ``engaged in production, physical distribution or marketing 
of natural gas, power, or oil that also engage in active trading of 
energy derivatives''--termed ``nonfinancial energy companies'' in 
the report. The figure cited includes costs to maintain a risk 
management program, quarterly audits of the program, and annual 
audits of swap trading relationship documentation, the first two of 
which are required under a separate rulemaking previously adopted by 
the Commission.
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    As discussed in the above sections, the Commission has modified 
many provisions of the final rules in response to comments received and 
in order to mitigate the burden imposed on market participants while 
accomplishing the goals as laid out in the NPRM. The Commission has:
     Provided for a phased implementation plan, providing 
longer periods for compliance with the rule for those entities for 
which the rules will be most burdensome;
     Clarified that the rules will be applicable only to swaps 
that are entered into after the rules become effective, and therefore 
not requiring retroactive application to existing swaps;
     Clarified that the rules do not apply to swaps executed on 
a SEF or DCM and cleared by a DCO, subject to certain minimum 
requirements;
     Imposed no additional requirements regarding documentation 
of events of default, termination events, or payment obligations;
     Permitted parties to agree on either alternative methods 
for determining the value of a swap or a valuation dispute resolution 
process;
     Reduced recordkeeping requirements under Sec.  
23.504(b)(6);
     Removed the 5 percent annual documentation audit 
requirement in favor of a more general audit standard; and
     Modified the swap valuation dispute reporting requirement 
to reduce the number of disputes that must be reported to the 
Commission, the SEC, and any applicable prudential regulator, and 
replaced the one-day reporting requirement with a three-day requirement 
for SDs and MSPs.
    The Commission believes that these changes will reduce or eliminate 
many of the burden concerns raised by commenters.
    Still, the Commission anticipates that significant costs will be 
incurred as a result of these documentation rules. Although the rules 
do not apply retroactively--that is, concerns regarding the need to re-
negotiate already agreed-upon contracts are null--there will be costs 
going forward for market participants. Registrants will have to (i) 
Negotiate and document all terms of each trading relationship; (ii) 
design, compose, and implement policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to ensure the execution of swap trading relationship 
documentation, including valuation documentation; (iii) obtain 
documentation from counterparties who are claiming the end user 
exception to clearing; (iv) periodically audit documentation; and (v) 
keep records and/or make reports as required under Sec. Sec.  
23.504(d)-(e) and 23.505(b).
    In its Documentation NPRM, the Commission considered the costs of 
its proposal and noted that memorializing the specific terms of the 
swap trading relationship and swap transactions between counterparties 
is prudent business practice and, in fact, many market participants 
already use standardized documentation. Accordingly, it is believed 
that many, if not most, SDs and MSPs currently execute and maintain 
trading relationship documentation of the type required by proposed 
Sec.  23.504 in the ordinary course of their businesses, including 
documentation that contains several of the terms that would be required 
by the proposed rules. Thus, the hour and dollar burdens associated 
with the swap trading relationship documentation requirements may be 
limited to amending existing documentation to expressly include any 
additional terms required by the proposed rules.
    The Commission also explained its belief that, to the extent any 
substantial amendments or additions to existing documentation would be 
needed, such revisions would likely apply to multiple counterparties, 
thereby reducing the per counterparty burden imposed upon SDs and MSPs. 
In addition, in its proposal, the Commission anticipated that 
standardized swap trading relationship documentation will develop 
quickly and progressively within the industry, dramatically reducing 
the cost to individual participants.
    Indeed, the Commission is aware of industry-led efforts already 
underway to bring trading relationship documentation into compliance 
with new Dodd-Frank Act requirements.\135\ These types of initiatives 
are likely to lower overall costs to market participants.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \135\ ISDA is partnering with Markit to launch a technology-
based solution enabling counterparties to amend their OTC 
derivatives documentation quickly and efficiently to comply with 
Dodd-Frank regulatory requirements. See http://www2.isda.org/dodd-frank-documentation-initiative/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission further expects the per hour and dollar burdens to 
be incurred predominantly in the first year or two after the effective 
date of the final regulations. Once an SD or MSP has changed its pre-
existing documentation with each of its counterparties to comply with 
the proposed rules, there likely will be little need to further modify 
such documentation on an ongoing basis.
    In terms of quantification, the Commission recognizes IECA's 
comments indicating that the primary costs of the documentation and 
valuation rules will be legal costs. In terms of a per hour fee, the 
Commission has previously cited Bureau of Labor Statistics findings 
that the mean hourly wage of an employee under occupation code 23-1011, 
``Lawyers,'' that is employed by the ``Securities and Commodity 
Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage Industry'' is $82.22.\136\ The 
Commission has adjusted this amount upward to $100 per hour because SDs 
and MSPs include large financial institutions whose employees' salaries 
may exceed the mean wage provided. To account for the possibility that 
the services of outside counsel may be required to satisfy the 
requirements associated with negotiating, drafting, and maintaining the 
required trading relationship documentation, the Commission used an 
average salary of $125 per hour. In response to comments that the 
hourly rate should be increased further, the Commission notes that any 
determination to use outside counsel is at the discretion of the 
registrant. Accordingly, the per-hour estimate for legal costs 
associated with these rules is $125-500 per hour. In terms of the 
number of hours required to amend documentation, whether the 
requirement be ten hours or substantially more, the Commission notes 
that industry-wide efforts could reduce this amount significantly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \136\ http.www.bls.gov/oes/2099/mayowe23.1011.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission also notes the NERA report regarding the costs of an 
annual audit. Given the alternative audit requirement finalized in 
these rules, the Commission expects that the audit costs would be 
reduced, perhaps significantly.
    In conclusion, the Commission believes the final rules for 
documentation of swap trading relationships are appropriate to ensure 
the efficient and orderly operation of bilateral derivatives markets 
and to

[[Page 55957]]

reduce the legal, operational, counterparty credit, and market risk 
that can arise from undocumented terms. The final rules promote an 
appropriate level of standardization; while the Commission does not 
believe the rules prohibit customized terms, the manner in which they 
are documented (i.e. written, pre-arranged terms that must include 
certain types of agreements as applicable) will become standardized. 
SDs, MSPs, and their counterparties alike will have certainty regarding 
what their documentation must include, though the actual terms are 
still readily negotiable. The Commission agrees with the Financial 
Stability Oversight Board OTC Derivatives Working Group that increased 
documentation standardization should improve the market in a number of 
ways, including (i) Facilitating automated processing of transactions; 
(ii) increasing the fungibility of contracts, which enables greater 
market liquidity; (iii) improving valuation and risk management; (iv) 
increasing the reliability of price information; (v) reducing the 
number of problems in matching trades; and (vi) facilitating reporting 
to SDRs.

J. Section 15(a) Considerations: Swap Trading Relationship 
Documentation

1. Protection of Market Participants and the Public
    The final documentation rules will protect market participants by 
ensuring that every trading relationship and every transaction is 
properly documented. Full and transparent documentation diminishes the 
risk of unfair practices like valuing a swap to advantage one party at 
the expense of the other. As such, documentation protects particularly 
those parties most susceptible to being taken advantage of, such as 
non-financial entities. In addition, the legal and credit certainty 
provided by proper documentation provides protection to both sides of a 
relationship by ensuring a clear understanding of options and 
obligations, particularly in case of dispute or market crisis.
    The provisions in the final rules related to valuation also provide 
protection to market participants from costly disputes over the 
collateralization of a swap; such disputes exacerbated the financial 
crisis as proper collateralization for risk management purposes could 
not be determined.
2. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Financial Integrity of Derivatives 
Markets
    As proper documentation encourages orderly operations and 
diminishes risk, the Commission believes the final rules improve the 
efficiency of markets. Increased standardization should allow for 
increased competition among SDs and MSPs, whose counterparties will be 
better able to compare between swap trading relationships to determine 
which relationships with which dealers best suit their needs. The 
transparency and certainty provided by proper documentation, in 
addition to the diminished risk of predatory trading practices, should 
improve the integrity of bilateral derivatives markets. Overall, then, 
the Commission considers the final rules to have a net positive impact 
on the efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of 
derivatives markets.
3. Price Discovery
    To the extent the final rules improve the process of valuing swap 
transactions between counterparties, they should also increase the 
reliability of pricing information; this increase in pricing 
reliability should improve the price discovery function of bilateral 
markets.
4. Sound Risk Management
    Proper documentation of trading relationships and transactions is 
essential to sound risk management; simply put, if a dealer is unaware 
or unsure of agreed-upon terms and policies, it cannot be managing risk 
as efficiently as possible. The final rules, because they require full 
documentation of all facets of the relationship between counterparties, 
mitigate (i) The legal risk inherent in poorly documented or oral 
contracts; (ii) the counterparty credit risk that stems from improper 
documentation of credit terms and the counterparty credit risk that 
could occur based on false or misleading representations by either 
counterparty; and (iii) the operational risk that arises when internal 
operations personnel and systems do not have full or identical 
information regarding a particular transaction or counterparty.
    The final valuation rules also provide support for sound risk 
management practices because they strive to ensure that two 
counterparties are not disputing the value of a transaction where 
margin or other cash flows are being exchanged. Limiting the risk that 
unresolved disputes can create in the marketplace as a whole--again 
considering the role valuation disputes played in the 2008 financial 
crisis--should allow systemic risk management as well as improving the 
risk management processes of individual market participants.
5. Other Public Interest Considerations
    The Commission has not identified other public interest 
considerations as a result of these rules.

V. Related Matters

A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) \137\ requires that agencies 
consider whether the rules they propose will have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, 
provide a regulatory flexibility analysis respecting the impact. The 
Commission has already established certain definitions of ``small 
entities'' to be used in evaluating the impact of its rules on such 
small entities in accordance with the RFA.\138\ SDs and MSPs are new 
categories of registrant. Accordingly, the Commission noted in the 
proposals that it had not previously addressed the question of whether 
such persons were, in fact, small entities for purposes of the RFA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \137\ 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    \138\ 47 FR 18618 (Apr. 30, 1982).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this regard, the Commission explained that it previously had 
determined that FCMs should not be considered to be small entities for 
purposes of the RFA, based, in part, upon FCMs' obligation to meet the 
minimum financial requirements established by the Commission to enhance 
the protection of customers' segregated funds and protect the financial 
condition of FCMs generally. Like FCMs, SDs will be subject to minimum 
capital and margin requirements, and are expected to comprise the 
largest global financial firms--and the Commission is required to 
exempt from designation as an SD entities that engage in a de minimis 
level of swaps dealing in connection with transactions with or on 
behalf of customers. Accordingly, for purposes of the RFA for the 
proposals and future rulemakings, the Commission proposed that SDs not 
be considered ``small entities'' for essentially the same reasons that 
it had previously determined FCMs not to be small entities.
    The Commission further explained that it had also previously 
determined that large traders are not ``small entities'' for RFA 
purposes, with the Commission considering the size of a trader's 
position to be the only appropriate test for the purpose of large 
trader reporting. The Commission then noted that MSPs maintain 
substantial positions in swaps, creating substantial counterparty 
exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial

[[Page 55958]]

stability of the United States banking system or financial markets. 
Accordingly, for purposes of the RFA for the proposals and future 
rulemakings, the Commission proposed that MSPs not be considered 
``small entities'' for essentially the same reasons that it previously 
had determined large traders not to be small entities.
    The Commission concluded its RFA analysis applicable to SDs and 
MSPs as follows: ``The Commission is carrying out Congressional 
mandates by proposing these rules. The Commission is incorporating 
registration of SDs and MSPs into the existing registration structure 
applicable to other registrants. In so doing, the Commission has 
attempted to accomplish registration of SDs and MSPs in the manner that 
is least disruptive to ongoing business and most efficient and 
expeditious, consistent with the public interest, and accordingly 
believes that these registration rules will not present a significant 
economic burden on any entity subject thereto.''
    The Commission did not receive any comments on its analysis of the 
application of the RFA to SDs and MSPs. Moreover, during the time 
period since the rule proposals were published in the Federal Register, 
the Commission has issued final rules in which it determined that the 
registration and regulation of SDs and MSPs would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.\139\ Accordingly, pursuant to Section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 
U.S.C. 605(b), the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, certifies 
that these rules will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \139\ See, e.g., Registration of Swap Dealers and Major Swap 
Participants, 77 FR 2613 (Jan. 19, 2012); Swap Dealer and Major Swap 
Participant Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Duties Rules; Futures 
Commission Merchant and Introducing Broker Conflicts of Interest 
Rules; and Chief Compliance Officer Rules for Swap Dealers, Major 
Swap Participants, and Futures Commission Merchants, 77 FR 20128 
(Apr. 3, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Commission may not conduct or sponsor, and a registrant is not 
required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays 
a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. 
The Commission's adoption of Sec. Sec.  23.500 through 23.505 (Swap 
Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio Compression, Swap 
Trading Relationship Documentation, and End User Exception 
Documentation) imposes new information collection requirements on 
registrants within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act.\140\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \140\ 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Accordingly, the Commission requested and OMB assigned control 
numbers for the required collections of information. The Commission has 
submitted this notice of final rulemaking along with supporting 
documentation for OMB's review in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3507(d) and 
5 CFR 1320.11. The title for these collections of information are 
``Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements for Swap Dealers 
and Major Swap Participants, OMB control number 3038-0088,'' 
``Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, and Portfolio Compression 
Requirements for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants, OMB control 
number 3038-0068,'' and ``Orderly Liquidation Termination Provision in 
Swap Trading Relationship Documentation for Swap Dealers and Major Swap 
Participants, OMB control number 3038-0083.'' \141\ Many of the 
responses to this new collection of information are mandatory.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \141\ These collections include certain collections required 
under the Business Conduct Standards with Counterparties rulemaking, 
as stated in that rulemaking. See Business Conduct Standards for 
Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants with Counterparties, 77 FR 
9734 (Feb. 17, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission protects proprietary information according to the 
Freedom of Information Act and 17 CFR part 145, ``Commission Records 
and Information.'' In addition, Section 8(a)(1) of the CEA strictly 
prohibits the Commission, unless specifically authorized by the Act, 
from making public ``data and information that would separately 
disclose the business transactions or market positions of any person 
and trade secrets or names of customers.'' The Commission also is 
required to protect certain information contained in a government 
system of records according to the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a.
    The regulations require each respondent to furnish certain 
information to the Commission and to maintain certain records. The 
Commission invited the public and other Federal agencies to comment on 
any aspect of the information collection requirements discussed in the 
Documentation NPRM, the Confirmation NPRM, and the Orderly Liquidation 
NPRM. Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(B), the Commission solicited 
comments in order to: (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collections of 
information were necessary for the proper performance of the functions 
of the Commission, including whether the information will have 
practical utility; (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Commission's 
estimates of the burden of the proposed collections of information; 
(iii) determine whether there are ways to enhance the quality, utility, 
and clarity of the information to be collected; and (iv) minimize the 
burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, 
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology.
    It is not currently known how many SDs and MSPs will become subject 
to these rules, and this will not be known to the Commission until the 
registration requirements for these entities become effective. In its 
rule proposals, the Commission took ``a conservative approach'' to 
calculating the burden hours of this information collection by 
estimating that as many as 300 SDs and MSPs would register.\142\ Since 
publication of the proposals in late 2010 and early 2011, the 
Commission has met with industry participants and trade groups, 
discussed extensively the universe of potential registrants with NFA, 
and reviewed public information about SDs active in the market and 
certain trade groups. Over time, and as the Commission has gathered 
more information on the swaps market and its participants, the estimate 
of the number of SDs and MSPs has decreased. In its FY 2012 budget 
drafted in February 2011, the Commission estimated that 140 SDs might 
register with the Commission.\143\ After recently receiving additional 
specific information from NFA on the regulatory program it is 
developing for SDs and MSPs,\144\ however, the Commission believes that 
approximately 125 SDs and MSPs, including only a handful of MSPs, will 
register. While the Commission originally estimated there might be 
approximately 300 SDs and MSPs, based on new estimates provided by NFA, 
the Commission now estimates

[[Page 55959]]

that there will be a combined number of 125 SDs and MSPs that will be 
subject to new information collection requirements under these 
rules.\145\
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    \142\ See 75 FR at 81528; 76 FR at 6713; 76 FR at 6723.
    \143\ CFTC, President's Budget and Performance Plan Fiscal Year 
2010, p. 13-14 (Feb. 2011), available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/cftcbudget2012.pdf. The 
estimated 140 SDs includes ``[a]pproximately 80 global and regional 
banks currently known to offer swaps in the United States;'' 
``[a]pproximately 40 non-bank swap dealers currently offering 
commodity and other swaps;'' and ``[a]pproximately 20 new potential 
market makers that wish to become swap dealers.'' Id.
    \144\ Letter from Thomas W. Sexton, Senior Vice President and 
General Counsel, NFA to Gary Barnett, Director, Division of Swap 
Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, CFTC (Oct. 20, 2011) (NFA Cost 
Estimates Letter).
    \145\ NFA Letter (Oct. 20, 2011) (estimating that there will be 
125 SDs and MSPs required to register with NFA).
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    For purposes of the PRA, the term ``burden'' means the ``time, 
effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, 
maintain, or provide information to or for a Federal Agency.''
    For most of the provisions set forth in the NPRMs, the Commission 
estimated the cost burden of the proposed regulations based upon an 
average salary for Financial Managers of $100 per hour. In addition, 
for certain provisions in the Documentation NPRM, the Commission 
estimated the cost burden of the proposed regulations based upon an 
average salary for Lawyers of $125 per hour. In response to these 
estimates, The Working Group commented that, inclusive of benefit costs 
and allocated overhead, the per-hour average salary estimate for 
compliance and risk management personnel should be significantly higher 
than $120. FIA and SIFMA stated that some of the compliance policies 
required by the proposed regulations will be drafted by both in-house 
lawyers and outside counsel, so the blended hourly rate should be 
roughly $400.
    The Commission notes that its wage estimates were based on recent 
Bureau of Labor Statistics findings, including the mean hourly wage of 
an employee under occupation code 23-1011, ``Lawyers,'' that is 
employed by the ``Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and 
Brokerage Industry,'' which is $82.22. The mean hourly wage of an 
employee under occupation code 11-3031, ``Financial Managers,'' (which 
includes operations managers) in the same industry is $74.41.\146\ 
Taking these data, the Commission then increased its hourly wage 
estimates in recognition of the fact that some registrants may be large 
financial institutions whose employees' salaries may exceed the mean 
wage. The Commission also observes that SIFMA's ``Report on Management 
& Professional Earnings in the Securities Industry--2010'' estimates 
the average wage of a compliance attorney and a compliance staffer in 
the U.S. at only $46.31 per hour.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \146\ See http://www.bls.gov/oes/2099/mayowe23.1011.htm and 
http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission recognizes that some registrants may hire outside 
counsel with expertise in the various regulatory areas covered by the 
regulations discussed herein. While the Commission is uncertain about 
the billing rates that registrants may pay for outside counsel, the 
Commission believes that such counsel may bill at a rate of several 
hundred dollars per hour. Outside counsel may be able to leverage its 
expertise to reduce substantially the number of hours needed to fulfill 
a requested assignment, but a registrant that uses outside counsel may 
incur higher costs than a registrant that does not use outside counsel. 
Any determination to use outside counsel is at the discretion of the 
registrant. Having considered the comments received and having reviewed 
the available data, the Commission has determined that $100 per hour 
for Financial Managers, and $125 for Lawyers, remain reasonable 
estimates of the per-hour average salary for purposes of its PRA 
analysis. The Commission also notes that this determination is 
consistent with the Commission's estimate for the hourly wage for CCOs 
under the recently adopted final rules establishing certain internal 
business conduct standards for SDs and MSPs.\147\
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    \147\ See Swap Dealer and Major Swap Participant Recordkeeping, 
Reporting, and Duties Rules; Futures Commission Merchant and 
Introducing Broker Conflicts of Interest Rules; and Chief Compliance 
Officer Rules for Swap Dealers, Major Swap Participants, and Futures 
Commission Merchants, 77 FR 20128, 20196 (Apr. 3, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission received comments related to the PRA in response to 
its notices of proposed rulemaking. Notably, none of these commenters 
suggested specific revised calculations with regard to the Commission's 
burden estimate.
    IECA commented that if all confirmations must be in writing, the 
additional employee time cost for each market participant would be 
substantial and is not included in the annual cost analysis. IECA also 
commented that the estimate of 10 hours per counterparty to negotiate 
new documentation is too low. Because the rule requires transaction-by-
transaction valuation methodologies that will need to be newly 
negotiated for many transactions, IECA believes the Commission should 
calculate an aggregate amount based on the number of transactions. 
Also, the time needed must include not only negotiation, but also time 
for determining pricing points and inputs, executive decision-maker 
time, and also senior management and board time for reviewing forms and 
material modifications. Time will also be needed to reevaluate the ISDA 
documentation if the Commission does not state that such are 
acceptable.
    The Working Group requested that the Commission evaluate the 
proposed rules in light of its various recordkeeping and reporting 
proposals, as such may cause firms to incur tremendous administrative 
obligations to record changes to its swap portfolio, its accounting 
records, treasury arrangements and capital allocations (including loss 
of cash flow hedging treatment under hedge accounting rules), as well 
as incurring reporting obligations to swap data repositories on a swap-
by-swap basis.
    The Commission has considered the comments received concerning the 
PRA-related burden estimates set forth in the notices of proposed 
rulemaking. However, because none of the commenters suggested specific 
revised calculations on the estimates, the only change that the 
Commission is making to its estimation of annual burdens associated 
with the rules is the change to reflect the new estimate of the number 
of SDs and MSPs.
    With respect to the rules proposed in the Documentation NPRM, the 
Commission now estimates the initial burden to be 6,168 hours per year, 
at an initial annual cost of $684,300, for each SD and MSP, and the 
initial aggregate burden cost for all registrants is $85,537,500.\148\ 
With respect to the rules proposed in the Confirmation NPRM, the 
Commission now estimates the burden to be 1,282.5 hours, at an annual 
cost of $128,250 for each SD and MSP, and the aggregate burden cost for 
all registrants is 160,312.5 burden hours and $16,031,250. With respect 
to the rules set forth in the Orderly Liquidation NPRM, the Commission 
now estimates the initial burden to be 270 hours per year, at an 
initial annual cost of $27,000 for each SD and MSP, and the initial 
aggregate burden cost for all registrants is 33,750 burden hours and 
$3,375,000.\149\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \148\ As noted in the Documentation NPRM, the Commission has 
characterized the annual costs as initial annual costs, since the 
Commission anticipates that the cost burdens will be reduced 
dramatically over time as the agreements and other records required 
by the proposed regulations become increasingly standardized within 
the industry. 76 FR at 6722.
    \149\ See id. (discussing the characterization of the annual 
costs as initial annual costs). The Commission notes that the 
substantive requirements under the Orderly Liquidation rule have 
been reduced significantly. While the proposal required the parties 
to negotiate and agree on documentation provisions, the final rules 
requires only a simple notice. The Commission has elected not to 
alter its PRA burden estimate, but observes that such estimates are 
likely to overstate the actual burden significantly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In total, the Commission estimates that the rules set forth in this 
Adopting Release will impose a burden of 7,720.5 hours per year, at an 
initial annual cost of $839,550, for each SD and MSP, and

[[Page 55960]]

the aggregate burden cost for all registrants is $104,943,750.
    In addition to the burden hours discussed above, the Commission 
anticipates that SDs and MSPs may incur certain start-up costs in 
connection with the proposed recordkeeping obligations. Such costs 
would include the expenditures related to developing and installing new 
technology and systems, or reprogramming or updating existing 
recordkeeping technology and systems, to enable the SD or MSP to 
collect, capture, process, maintain, and re-produce any newly required 
records. The Commission received no comments with respect to the 
estimated number of burden hours for these start-up costs, or with 
respect to the programming wage estimate of $60 per hour. Accordingly, 
the Commission estimates that the start-up costs would require 40 
burden hours for the rules proposed in the Documentation NPRM and 40 
hours for the rules proposed in the Confirmation NPRM.\150\ Thus, the 
estimated start-up burden associated with the required technological 
improvements would be $4,800 [$60 x 80 hours per affected registrant] 
or $600,000 in the aggregate.\151\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \150\ The Commission does not anticipate that SDs and MSPs will 
incur any start-up costs in connection with the proposed 
recordkeeping obligations in the rules proposed in the Orderly 
Liquidation NPRM, other than those previously noted and accounted 
for in the Documentation NPRM and Confirmation NPRM.
    \151\ According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics findings, 
the mean hourly wages of computer programmers under occupation code 
15-1021 and computer software engineers under program codes 15-1031 
and 1032 are between $34.10 and $44.94. See http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm. Because SDs and MSPs generally will be large 
entities that may engage employees with wages above the mean, the 
Commission has conservatively chosen to use a mean hourly 
programming wage of $60 per hour.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 23

    Antitrust, Commodity futures, Conduct standards, Conflict of 
Interests, Major swap participants, Reporting and recordkeeping, Swap 
dealers, Swaps.
    For the reasons stated in this release, the Commission amends 17 
CFR part 23 as follows:

PART 23--SWAP DEALERS AND MAJOR SWAP PARTICIPANTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 23 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 6, 6a, 6b, 6b-1, 6c, 6p, 6r, 6s, 6t, 
9, 9a, 12, 12a, 13b, 13c, 16a, 18, 19, 21.


0
2. Subpart I (consisting of Sec. Sec.  23.500, 23.501, 23.502, 23.503, 
23.504, and 23.505) is added to read as follows:
Subpart I--Swap Documentation
Sec.
23.500 Definitions.
23.501 Swap confirmation.
23.502 Portfolio reconciliation.
23.503 Portfolio compression.
23.504 Swap trading relationship documentation.
23.505 End user exception documentation.

Subpart I--Swap Documentation


Sec.  23.500  Definitions.

    For purposes of this subpart I, the following terms shall be 
defined as provided.
    (a) Acknowledgment means a written or electronic record of all of 
the terms of a swap signed and sent by one counterparty to the other.
    (b) Bilateral portfolio compression exercise means an exercise in 
which two swap counterparties wholly terminate or change the notional 
value of some or all of the swaps submitted by the counterparties for 
inclusion in the portfolio compression exercise and, depending on the 
methodology employed, replace the terminated swaps with other swaps 
whose combined notional value (or some other measure of risk) is less 
than the combined notional value (or some other measure of risk) of the 
terminated swaps in the exercise.
    (c) Confirmation means the consummation (electronically or 
otherwise) of legally binding documentation (electronic or otherwise) 
that memorializes the agreement of the counterparties to all of the 
terms of a swap transaction. A confirmation must be in writing (whether 
electronic or otherwise) and must legally supersede any previous 
agreement (electronically or otherwise). A confirmation is created when 
an acknowledgment is manually, electronically, or by some other legally 
equivalent means, signed by the receiving counterparty.
    (d) Execution means, with respect to a swap transaction, an 
agreement by the counterparties (whether orally, in writing, 
electronically, or otherwise) to the terms of the swap transaction that 
legally binds the counterparties to such terms under applicable law.
    (e) Financial entity means a counterparty that is not a swap dealer 
or a major swap participant and that is one of the following:
    (1) A commodity pool as defined in Section 1a(5) of the Act;
    (2) A private fund as defined in Section 202(a) of the Investment 
Advisors Act of 1940;
    (3) An employee benefit plan as defined in paragraphs (3) and (32) 
of section 3 of the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act of 
1974;
    (4) A person predominantly engaged in activities that are in the 
business of banking, or in activities that are financial in nature as 
defined in Section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956; and
    (5) A security-based swap dealer or a major security-based swap 
participant.
    (f) Fully offsetting swaps means swaps of equivalent terms where no 
net cash flow would be owed to either counterparty after the offset of 
payment obligations thereunder.
    (g) Material terms means all terms of a swap required to be 
reported in accordance with part 45 of this chapter.
    (h) Multilateral portfolio compression exercise means an exercise 
in which multiple swap counterparties wholly terminate or change the 
notional value of some or all of the swaps submitted by the 
counterparties for inclusion in the portfolio compression exercise and, 
depending on the methodology employed, replace the terminated swaps 
with other swaps whose combined notional value (or some other measure 
of risk) is less than the combined notional value (or some other 
measure of risk) of the terminated swaps in the compression exercise.
    (i) Portfolio reconciliation means any process by which the two 
parties to one or more swaps:
    (1) Exchange the terms of all swaps in the swap portfolio between 
the counterparties;
    (2) Exchange each counterparty's valuation of each swap in the swap 
portfolio between the counterparties as of the close of business on the 
immediately preceding business day; and
    (3) Resolve any discrepancy in material terms and valuations.
    (j) Prudential regulator has the meaning given to the term in 
section 1a(39) of the Commodity Exchange Act and includes the Board of 
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller 
of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Farm 
Credit Association, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as 
applicable to the swap dealer or major swap participant.
    (k) Swap portfolio means all swaps currently in effect between a 
particular swap dealer or major swap participant and a particular 
counterparty.
    (l) Swap transaction means any event that results in a new swap or 
in a change to the terms of a swap, including execution, termination, 
assignment, novation, exchange, transfer, amendment, conveyance, or 
extinguishing of rights or obligations of a swap.

[[Page 55961]]

    (m) Valuation means the current market value or net present value 
of a swap.


Sec.  23.501  Swap confirmation.

    (a) Confirmation. Subject to the compliance schedule in paragraph 
(c) of this section:
    (1) Each swap dealer and major swap participant entering into a 
swap transaction with a counterparty that is a swap dealer or major 
swap participant shall execute a confirmation for the swap transaction 
as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by the end of 
first business day following the day of execution.
    (2) Each swap dealer and major swap participant entering into a 
swap transaction with a counterparty that is not a swap dealer or a 
major swap participant shall send an acknowledgment of such swap 
transaction as soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by 
the end of the first business day following the day of execution.
    (3) (i) Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall 
establish, maintain, and follow written policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that it executes a confirmation for each 
swap transaction that it enters into with a counterparty that is a 
financial entity as soon as technologically practicable, but in any 
event by the end of the first business day following the day of 
execution.
    (ii) Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall establish, 
maintain, and follow written policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to ensure that it executes a confirmation for each swap 
transaction that it enters into with a counterparty that is not a swap 
dealer, major swap participant, or a financial entity not later than 
the end of the second business day following the day of execution.
    (iii) Such procedures shall include a requirement that, upon a 
request by a prospective counterparty prior to execution of any such 
swap, the swap dealer or major swap participant furnish to the 
prospective counterparty prior to execution a draft acknowledgment 
specifying all terms of the swap transaction other than the applicable 
pricing and other relevant terms that are to be expressly agreed at 
execution.
    (4) Swaps executed on a swap execution facility, designated 
contract market, or submitted for clearing by a derivatives clearing 
organization.
    (i) Any swap transaction executed on a swap execution facility or 
designated contract market shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements 
of this section, provided that the rules of the swap execution facility 
or designated contract market establish that confirmation of all terms 
of the transaction shall take place at the same time as execution.
    (ii) Any swap transaction submitted for clearing by a derivatives 
clearing organization shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of 
this section, provided that:
    (A) The swap transaction is submitted for clearing as soon as 
technologically practicable, but in any event no later than the times 
established for confirmation under paragraphs (a)(1) or (3) of this 
section, and
    (B) Confirmation of all terms of the transaction takes place at the 
same time as the swap transaction is accepted for clearing pursuant to 
the rules of the derivatives clearing organization.
    (iii) If a swap dealer or major swap participant receives notice 
that a swap transaction has not been confirmed by a swap execution 
facility or a designated contract market, or accepted for clearing by a 
derivatives clearing organization, the swap dealer or major swap 
participant shall execute a confirmation for such swap transaction as 
soon as technologically practicable, but in any event no later than the 
times established for confirmation under paragraphs (a)(1) or (3) of 
this section as if such swap transaction were executed at the time the 
swap dealer or major swap participant receives such notice.
    (5) For purposes of this section:
    (i) ``Day of execution'' means the calendar day of the party to the 
swap transaction that ends latest, provided that if a swap transaction 
is--
    (A) Entered into after 4:00 p.m. in the place of a party; or
    (B) Entered into on a day that is not a business day in the place 
of a party, then such swap transaction shall be deemed to have been 
entered into by that party on the immediately succeeding business day 
of that party, and the day of execution shall be determined with 
reference to such business day; and
    (ii) ``Business day'' means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, 
or legal holiday.
    (b) Recordkeeping. (1) Each swap dealer and major swap participant 
shall make and retain a record of:
    (i) The date and time of transmission to, or receipt from, a 
counterparty of any acknowledgment; and
    (ii) The date and time of transmission to, or receipt from, a 
counterparty of any confirmation.
    (2) All records required to be maintained pursuant to this section 
shall be maintained in accordance with Sec.  23.203 and shall be made 
available promptly upon request to any representative of the Commission 
or any applicable prudential regulator, or with regard to swaps defined 
in section 1a(47)(A)(v), to any representative of the Commission, the 
Securities and Exchange Commission, or any applicable prudential 
regulator.
    (c) Compliance schedule. The requirements of paragraph (a) of this 
section are subject to the following compliance schedule:
    (1) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant entering into a swap transaction that 
is or involves a credit swap or interest rate swap with a counterparty 
that is a swap dealer or major swap participant shall execute a 
confirmation for the swap transaction as soon as technologically 
practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
February 28, 2014; and
    (ii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after March 1, 2014.
    (2) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant entering into a swap transaction that 
is or involves an equity swap, foreign exchange swap, or other 
commodity swap with a counterparty that is a swap dealer or major swap 
participant shall execute a confirmation for the swap transaction as 
soon as technologically practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the third business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
August 31, 2013;
    (ii) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014; and
    (iii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after September 1, 2014.
    (3) For purposes of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant entering into a swap transaction that 
is or involves a credit swap or interest rate swap with a counterparty 
that is not a swap dealer or a major swap participant shall send an 
acknowledgment of such swap transaction as soon as technologically 
practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
February 28, 2014; and
    (ii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after March 1, 2014.
    (4) For purposes of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major

[[Page 55962]]

swap participant entering into a swap transaction that is or involves 
an equity swap, foreign exchange swap, or other commodity swap with a 
counterparty that is not a swap dealer or a major swap participant 
shall send an acknowledgment of such swap transaction as soon as 
technologically practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the third business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
August 31, 2013;
    (ii) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014; and
    (iii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after September 1, 2014.
    (5) For purposes of paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall establish, maintain, and follow 
written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it 
executes a confirmation for each swap transaction that is or involves a 
credit swap or interest rate swap that it enters into with a 
counterparty that is a financial entity as soon as technologically 
practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
February 28, 2014; and
    (ii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after March 1, 2014.
    (6) For purposes of paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall establish, maintain, and follow 
written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it 
executes a confirmation for each swap transaction that is or involves 
an equity swap, foreign exchange swap, or other commodity swap that it 
enters into with a counterparty that is a financial entity as soon as 
technologically practicable, but in any event by:
    (i) The end of the third business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
August 31, 2013;
    (ii) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution for the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014; and
    (iii) The end of the first business day following the day of 
execution from and after September 1, 2014.
    (7) For purposes of paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall establish, maintain, and follow 
written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it 
executes a confirmation for each swap transaction that is or involves a 
credit swap or interest rate swap that it enters into with a 
counterparty that is not a swap dealer, major swap participant, or a 
financial entity not later than:
    (i) The end of the fifth business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
August 31, 2013;
    (ii) The end of the third business day following the day of 
execution for the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014; and
    (iii) The end of the second business day following the day of 
execution from and after September 1, 2014.
    (8) For purposes of paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall establish, maintain, and follow 
written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that it 
executes a confirmation for each swap transaction that is or involves 
an equity swap, foreign exchange swap, or other commodity swap that it 
enters into with a counterparty that is not a swap dealer, major swap 
participant, or a financial entity not later than:
    (i) The end of the seventh business day following the day of 
execution for the period from the effective date of this section to 
August 31, 2013;
    (ii) The end of the fourth business day following the day of 
execution for the period from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014; and
    (iii) The end of the second business following the day of execution 
from and after September 1, 2014.
    (9) For purposes of paragraph (c) of this section:
    (i) ``Credit swap'' means any swap that is primarily based on 
instruments of indebtedness, including, without limitation: Any swap 
primarily based on one or more broad-based indices related to 
instruments of indebtedness; and any swap that is an index credit swap 
or total return swap on one or more indices of debt instruments;
    (ii) ``Equity swap'' means any swap that is primarily based on 
equity securities, including, without limitation: Any swap primarily 
based on one or more broad-based indices of equity securities; and any 
total return swap on one or more equity indices;
    (iii) ``Foreign exchange swap'' has the meaning set forth in 
section 1a(25) of the CEA. It does not include swaps primarily based on 
rates of exchange between different currencies, changes in such rates, 
or other aspects of such rates (sometimes known as ``cross-currency 
swaps'');
    (iv) ``Interest rate swap'' means any swap which is primarily based 
on one or more interest rates, such as swaps of payments determined by 
fixed and floating interest rates; or any swap which is primarily based 
on rates of exchange between different currencies, changes in such 
rates, or other aspects of such rates (sometimes known as ``cross-
currency swaps''); and
    (v) ``Other commodity swap'' means any swap not included in the 
credit, equity, foreign exchange, or interest rate asset classes, 
including, without limitation, any swap for which the primary 
underlying item is a physical commodity or the price or any other 
aspect of a physical commodity.


Sec.  23.502  Portfolio reconciliation.

    (a) Swaps with swap dealers or major swap participants. Each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall engage in portfolio 
reconciliation as follows for all swaps in which its counterparty is 
also a swap dealer or major swap participant.
    (1) Each swap dealer or major swap participant shall agree in 
writing with each of its counterparties on the terms of the portfolio 
reconciliation.
    (2) The portfolio reconciliation may be performed on a bilateral 
basis by the counterparties or by a qualified third party.
    (3) The portfolio reconciliation shall be performed no less 
frequently than:
    (i) Once each business day for each swap portfolio that includes 
500 or more swaps;
    (ii) Once each week for each swap portfolio that includes more than 
50 but fewer than 500 swaps on any business day during any week; and
    (iii) Once each calendar quarter for each swap portfolio that 
includes no more than 50 swaps at any time during the calendar quarter.
    (4) Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall resolve 
immediately any discrepancy in a material term of a swap identified as 
part of a portfolio reconciliation or otherwise.
    (5) Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall establish, 
maintain, and follow written policies and procedures reasonably 
designed to resolve any discrepancy in a valuation identified as part 
of a portfolio reconciliation or otherwise as soon as possible, but in 
any event within five business days, provided that the swap dealer and 
major swap participant establishes, maintains, and follows written 
policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify how the swap 
dealer or major swap participant will comply with any variation margin 
requirements under section 4s(e) of the Act and regulations under this 
part pending resolution of the discrepancy in

[[Page 55963]]

valuation. A difference between the lower valuation and the higher 
valuation of less than 10 percent of the higher valuation need not be 
deemed a discrepancy.
    (b) Swaps with entities other than swap dealers or major swap 
participants. Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall 
establish, maintain, and follow written policies and procedures 
reasonably designed to ensure that it engages in portfolio 
reconciliation as follows for all swaps in which its counterparty is 
neither a swap dealer nor a major swap participant.
    (1) Each swap dealer or major swap participant shall agree in 
writing with each of its counterparties on the terms of the portfolio 
reconciliation, including agreement on the selection of any third-party 
service provider.
    (2) The portfolio reconciliation may be performed on a bilateral 
basis by the counterparties or by one or more third parties selected by 
the counterparties in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
    (3) The required policies and procedures shall provide that 
portfolio reconciliation will be performed no less frequently than:
    (i) Once each calendar quarter for each swap portfolio that 
includes more than 100 swaps at any time during the calendar quarter; 
and
    (ii) Once annually for each swap portfolio that includes no more 
than 100 swaps at any time during the calendar year.
    (4) Each swap dealer or major swap participant shall establish, 
maintain, and follow written procedures reasonably designed to resolve 
any discrepancies in the material terms or valuation of each swap 
identified as part of a portfolio reconciliation or otherwise with a 
counterparty that is neither a swap dealer nor major swap participant 
in a timely fashion. A difference between the lower valuation and the 
higher valuation of less than 10 percent of the higher valuation need 
not be deemed a discrepancy.
    (c) Reporting. Each swap dealer and major swap participant shall 
promptly notify the Commission and any applicable prudential regulator, 
or with regard to swaps defined in section 1a(47)(A)(v) of the Act, the 
Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any applicable 
prudential regulator, of any swap valuation dispute in excess of 
$20,000,000 (or its equivalent in any other currency) if not resolved 
within:
    (1) Three (3) business days, if the dispute is with a counterparty 
that is a swap dealer or major swap participant; or
    (2) Five (5) business days, if the dispute is with a counterparty 
that is not a swap dealer or major swap participant.
    (d) Reconciliation of cleared swaps. Nothing in this section shall 
apply to a swap that is cleared by a derivatives clearing organization.
    (e) Recordkeeping. A record of each swap portfolio reconciliation 
consistent with Sec.  23.202(a)(3)(iii) shall be maintained in 
accordance with Sec.  23.203.


Sec.  23.503  Portfolio compression.

    (a) Portfolio compression with swap dealers and major swap 
participants.
    (1) Bilateral offset. Each swap dealer and major swap participant 
shall establish, maintain, and follow written policies and procedures 
for terminating each fully offsetting swap between a swap dealer or 
major swap participant and another swap dealer or major swap 
participant in a timely fashion, when appropriate.
    (2) Bilateral compression. Each swap dealer and major swap 
participant shall establish, maintain, and follow written policies and 
procedures for periodically engaging in bilateral portfolio compression 
exercises, when appropriate, with each counterparty that is also a swap 
dealer or major swap participant.
    (3) Multilateral compression. Each swap dealer and major swap 
participant shall establish, maintain, and follow written policies and 
procedures for periodically engaging in multilateral portfolio 
compression exercises, when appropriate, with each counterparty that is 
also a swap dealer or major swap participant. Such policies and 
procedures shall include:
    (i) Policies and procedures for participation in all multilateral 
portfolio compression exercises required by Commission regulation or 
order; and
    (ii) Evaluation of multilateral portfolio compression exercises 
that are initiated, offered, or sponsored by any third party.
    (b) Portfolio compression with counterparties other than swap 
dealers and major swap participants. Each swap dealer and major swap 
participant shall establish, maintain, and follow written policies and 
procedures for periodically terminating fully offsetting swaps and for 
engaging in portfolio compression exercises with respect to swaps in 
which its counterparty is an entity other than a swap dealer or major 
swap participant, to the extent requested by any such counterparty.
    (c) Portfolio compression of cleared swaps. Nothing in this section 
shall apply to a swap that is cleared by a derivatives clearing 
organization.
    (d) Recordkeeping. (1) Each swap dealer and major swap participant 
shall make and maintain a complete and accurate record of each 
bilateral offset and each bilateral or multilateral portfolio 
compression exercise in which it participates.
    (2) All records required to be maintained pursuant to this section 
shall be maintained in accordance with Sec.  23.203 and shall be made 
available promptly upon request to any representative of the Commission 
or any applicable prudential regulator, or with regard to swaps defined 
in section 1a(47)(A)(v) of the Act, to any representative of the 
Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any applicable 
prudential regulator.


Sec.  23.504  Swap trading relationship documentation.

    (a) (1) Applicability. The requirements of this section shall not 
apply to:
    (i) Swaps executed prior to the date on which a swap dealer or 
major swap participant is required to be in compliance with this 
section;
    (ii) Swaps executed on a board of trade designated as a contract 
market under section 5 of the Act or to swaps executed anonymously on a 
swap execution facility under section 5h of the Act, provided that such 
swaps are cleared by a derivatives clearing organization and all terms 
of the swaps conform to the rules of the derivatives clearing 
organization and Sec.  39.12(b)(6) of this chapter; and
    (iii) Swaps cleared by a derivatives clearing organization.
    (2) Policies and procedures. Each swap dealer and major swap 
participant shall establish, maintain, and follow written policies and 
procedures reasonably designed to ensure that the swap dealer or major 
swap participant executes written swap trading relationship 
documentation with its counterparty that complies with the requirements 
of this section. The policies and procedures shall be approved in 
writing by senior management of the swap dealer and major swap 
participant, and a record of the approval shall be retained. Other than 
confirmations of swap transactions under Sec.  23.501, the swap trading 
relationship documentation shall be executed prior to or 
contemporaneously with entering into a swap transaction with any 
counterparty.
    (b) Swap trading relationship documentation. (1) The swap trading 
relationship documentation shall be in writing and shall include all 
terms governing the trading relationship between the swap dealer or 
major swap participant and its counterparty,

[[Page 55964]]

including, without limitation, terms addressing payment obligations, 
netting of payments, events of default or other termination events, 
calculation and netting of obligations upon termination, transfer of 
rights and obligations, governing law, valuation, and dispute 
resolution.
    (2) The swap trading relationship documentation shall include all 
confirmations of swap transactions under Sec.  23.501.
    (3) The swap trading relationship documentation shall include 
credit support arrangements, which shall contain, in accordance with 
applicable requirements under Commission regulations or regulations 
adopted by prudential regulators and without limitation, the following:
    (i) Initial and variation margin requirements, if any;
    (ii) Types of assets that may be used as margin and asset valuation 
haircuts, if any;
    (iii) Investment and rehypothecation terms for assets used as 
margin for uncleared swaps, if any; and
    (iv) Custodial arrangements for margin assets, including whether 
margin assets are to be segregated with an independent third party, in 
accordance with Sec.  23.701(e), if any.
    (4) (i) The swap trading relationship documentation between swap 
dealers, between major swap participants, between a swap dealer and 
major swap participant, between a swap dealer or major swap participant 
and a financial entity, and, if requested by any other counterparty, 
between a swap dealer or major swap participant and such counterparty, 
shall include written documentation in which the parties agree on the 
process, which may include any agreed upon methods, procedures, rules, 
and inputs, for determining the value of each swap at any time from 
execution to the termination, maturity, or expiration of such swap for 
the purposes of complying with the margin requirements under section 
4s(e) of the Act and regulations under this part, and the risk 
management requirements under section 4s(j) of the Act and regulations 
under this part. To the maximum extent practicable, the valuation of 
each swap shall be based on recently-executed transactions, valuations 
provided by independent third parties, or other objective criteria.
    (ii) Such documentation shall include either:
    (A) Alternative methods for determining the value of the swap for 
the purposes of complying with this paragraph in the event of the 
unavailability or other failure of any input required to value the swap 
for such purposes; or
    (B) A valuation dispute resolution process by which the value of 
the swap shall be determined for the purposes of complying with this 
paragraph (b)(4).
    (iii) A swap dealer or major swap participant is not required to 
disclose to the counterparty confidential, proprietary information 
about any model it may use to value a swap.
    (iv) The parties may agree on changes or procedures for modifying 
or amending the documentation required by this paragraph at any time.
    (5) The swap trading relationship documentation of a swap dealer or 
major swap participant shall include the following:
    (i) A statement of whether the swap dealer or major swap 
participant is an insured depository institution (as defined in 12 
U.S.C. 1813) or a financial company (as defined in section 201(a)(11) 
of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5381(a)(11));
    (ii) A statement of whether the counterparty is an insured 
depository institution or financial company;
    (iii) A statement that in the event either the swap dealer or major 
swap participant or its counterparty is a covered financial company (as 
defined in section 201(a)(8) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and 
Consumer Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. 5381(a)(8)) or an insured depository 
institution for which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) 
has been appointed as a receiver (the ``covered party''), certain 
limitations under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act or the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Act may apply to the right of the non-covered party to 
terminate, liquidate, or net any swap by reason of the appointment of 
the FDIC as receiver, notwithstanding the agreement of the parties in 
the swap trading relationship documentation, and that the FDIC may have 
certain rights to transfer swaps of the covered party under section 
210(c)(9)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer 
Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. 5390(c)(9)(A), or 12 U.S.C. 1821(e)(9)(A); 
and
    (iv) An agreement between the swap dealer or major swap participant 
and its counterparty to provide notice if either it or its counterparty 
becomes or ceases to be an insured depository institution or a 
financial company.
    (6) The swap trading relationship documentation of each swap dealer 
and major swap participant shall contain a notice that, upon acceptance 
of a swap by a derivatives clearing organization:
    (i) The original swap is extinguished;
    (ii) The original swap is replaced by equal and opposite swaps with 
the derivatives clearing organization; and
    (iii) All terms of the swap shall conform to the product 
specifications of the cleared swap established under the derivatives 
clearing organization's rules.
    (c) Audit of swap trading relationship documentation. Each swap 
dealer and major swap participant shall have an independent internal or 
external auditor conduct periodic audits sufficient to identify any 
material weakness in its documentation policies and procedures required 
by this section and Commission regulations. A record of the results of 
each audit shall be retained.
    (d) Recordkeeping. Each swap dealer and major swap participant 
shall maintain all documents required to be created pursuant to this 
section in accordance with Sec.  23.203 and shall make them available 
promptly upon request to any representative of the Commission or any 
applicable prudential regulator, or with regard to swaps defined in 
section 1a(47)(A)(v) of the Act, to any representative of the 
Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any applicable 
prudential regulator.


Sec.  23.505  End user exception documentation.

    (a) For swaps excepted from a mandatory clearing requirement. Each 
swap dealer and major swap participant shall obtain documentation 
sufficient to provide a reasonable basis on which to believe that its 
counterparty meets the statutory conditions required for an exception 
from a mandatory clearing requirement, as defined in section 2h(7) of 
the Act and Sec.  39.6 of this chapter. Such documentation shall 
include:
    (1) The identity of the counterparty;
    (2) That the counterparty has elected not to clear a particular 
swap under section 2h(7) of the Act and Sec.  39.6 of this chapter;
    (3) That the counterparty is a non-financial entity, as defined in 
section 2h(7)(C) of the Act;
    (4) That the counterparty is hedging or mitigating a commercial 
risk; and
    (5) That the counterparty generally meets its financial obligations 
associated with non-cleared swaps. Provided, that a swap dealer or 
major swap participant need not obtain documentation of paragraphs 
(a)(3), (4), or (5) of this section if it obtains documentation that 
its counterparty has reported the information listed in Sec.  
39.6(b)(3) in accordance with Sec.  39.6(b)(4) of this chapter.
    (b) Recordkeeping. Each swap dealer and major swap participant 
shall maintain all documents required to be

[[Page 55965]]

obtained pursuant to this section in accordance with Sec.  23.203 and 
shall make them available promptly upon request to any representative 
of the Commission or any applicable prudential regulator, or with 
regard to swaps defined in section 1a(47)(A)(v) of the Act, to any 
representative of the Commission, the Securities and Exchange 
Commission, or any applicable prudential regulator.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 24, 2012, by the Commission.
Sauntia S. Warfield,
Assistant Secretary of the Commission.

Appendices to Confirmation, Portfolio Reconciliation, Portfolio 
Compression, and Swap Trading Relationship Documentation Requirements 
for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants--Commission Voting Summary 
and Statements of Commissioners

    NOTE:  The following appendices will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

Appendix 1--Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Gensler and Commissioners Sommers, 
Chilton, O'Malia and Wetjen voted in the affirmative; no 
Commissioner voted in the negative.

Appendix 2--Statement of Chairman Gary Gensler

    I support the final rule implementing Congress' direction that 
the Commission adopt rules for ``timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps.'' 
This direction was included in the swaps market reform provisions of 
the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-
Frank Act).
    Each of these requirements promotes crucial back office 
standards that will reduce risk and increase efficiency in the swaps 
market. These final rules are critical to the risk management of 
swap dealers and major swap participants and lowering their risk to 
the public.
    The rules establish procedures to promote legal certainty by 
requiring timely confirmation of all swap transactions, setting 
forth documentation requirements for bilateral swap transactions, 
and requiring timely resolutions of valuation disputes. In addition, 
the rules enhance understanding of one counterparty's risk exposure 
to another, and promote sound risk management through regular 
reconciliation and compression of swap portfolios.
    The 2008 financial crisis brought to light how large financial 
institutions, including AIG, had valuation disputes and other 
problems regarding documentation standards. These rules will 
directly address many of those issues, highlighting issues for 
senior management and regulators at an earlier stage.
    The final rule builds upon extensive work by the Federal Reserve 
Bank of New York (FRBNY) to improve standards in the back offices of 
large financial institutions dealing in swaps. Beginning in 2005, 
the FRBNY, along with U.S. and global prudential authorities, 
undertook a supervisory effort to enhance operational efficiency and 
lower risk in the swaps market by increasing automation in swaps 
processing, improving documentation, and promoting the timely 
confirmation of trades.
    CFTC staff also consulted with other U.S. and foreign financial 
regulators, and participated in numerous meetings with market 
participants. CFTC staff worked to address the more than 60 public 
comment letters responding to the three proposed rules comprising 
this final rule.

Appendix 3--Statement of Commissioner Bart Chilton

    I support this second package of internal business conduct 
standard final rules. These rules establish a set of prudent 
documentation standards for registered swap dealers (SDs) and major 
swap participants (MSPs) while aiming to minimize the burdens on 
non-SDs and non-MSPs. Vibrant and liquid financial markets are 
necessary for economic prosperity. As shown by the 2007-2009 
financial crisis, that prosperity itself is gravely threatened when 
the rules governing financial markets fail to curb the build-up of 
systemic risk. I am pleased that the preamble introducing these 
rules appropriately refers to the tremendous cost of the financial 
crisis; it is obvious that not implementing strong regulations 
effectuating the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act, including these final 
rules, would result in social costs to the American taxpayer and 
consumer.\152\ In addition, I note that there are enormous and 
ongoing social costs that taxed our economy as a result of the 
reckless practices that became prevalent in the years before the 
financial crisis.
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    \152\ See infra above.
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    The documentation and conduct standards set forth in this 
release are designed to, most importantly in my opinion, reduce 
valuation disputes: Disputes between parties about the value of a 
swap or portfolio of swaps. Valuation disputes can delay the 
exchange of collateral. The failure to exchange collateral in a 
timely manner can have disastrous impacts on a firm's ability to 
manage its risk and allocate capital efficiently. A large, 
interconnected firm's inability to manage its risk and to properly 
allocate capital can contribute to the generation of systemic risk. 
All of these steps were vividly illustrated during the recent 
financial crisis.
    American International Group's (AIG) inability to value its 
portfolio accurately and agree on valuations and collateral 
exchanges with its counterparties posed a serious problem for AIG 
and its counterparties during the financial crisis.\153\ According 
to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \153\ See Testimony Before the Financial Crisis Inquiry 
Commission, including AIG/Goldman Sachs Collateral Call Timeline, 
available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0701-AIG-Goldman-supporting-docs.pdf (timeline 
documenting valuation disputes and collateral calls); Testimony of 
Joseph Cassano, available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0630-Cassano.pdf; and AIG Statement 
Summary, available at http://fcic-static.law.stanford.edu/cdn_media/fcic-testimony/2010-0630-AIG-Statement-Summary.pdf.
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    The OTC derivatives market's lack of transparency and of 
effective price discovery exacerbated the collateral disputes of AIG 
and Goldman Sachs and similar disputes between other derivatives 
counterparties.\154\
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    \154\ Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, ``The Financial 
Crisis Inquiry Report: Final Report of the National Commission on 
the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United 
States,'' Jan. 2011, at 353, available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-FCIC/pdf/GPO-FCIC.pdf [hereinafter the FCIC Report.
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    It is with the financial crisis in mind that I interpret the 
Commission's authority generally and more specifically here, under 
section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Act which added new section 4s(i) to 
the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA).\155\ The portfolio reconciliation 
rules in section 23.502 will ensure that SDs/MSPs have portfolio 
valuations consistent with those of their counterparties. The 
portfolio compression rules in section 23.503 will reduce 
operational risks. The swap trading relationship documentation 
requirements will 23.504 will ensure that documentation practices in 
the swaps market cover a number of key terms. The documentation of 
these terms will give counterparties greater certainty as to their 
legal rights and responsibilities. These final rules, taken in 
conjunction with the Commission's other Dodd-Frank Act-related 
regulations, including part 43 regulations on real-time reporting 
and subpart H of part 23 on Business Conduct Standards for Swap 
Dealers and Major Swap Participants with Counterparties \156\ will 
contribute substantially to encouraging early and effective dispute 
resolution and will ensure the ``timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps.'' 
\157\
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    \155\ Pub. L. 111 (2010). CEA section 4s(i) states that each 
registered swap dealer and major swap participant shall conform with 
such standards as may be prescribed by the Commission by rule or 
regulation that relate to timely and accurate confirmation, 
processing, netting, documentation, and valuation of all swaps.
    \156\ See, specifically 17 CFR 23.431(a)(3)(i) requiring SDs and 
MSPs to disclose ``the price of the swap and the mid-market mark of 
the swap.''
    \157\ CEA section 4s(i).
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    While these rules represent considerable progress, I believe it 
should not be viewed in a vacuum and that the Commission should 
respond nimbly in responses to changes in the market that could 
frustrate the underlying purpose of these final rules (and all other 
Commission rules for that matter). Notwithstanding the progress the 
Commission has made, I remain concerned that are still a number of 
areas that this final rule touches upon that remain areas of 
potential future concern:
    1. Dispute resolution and the requirement to document 
alternative methods for determining the value of a swap or a dispute 
resolution process under regulation 23.504(b)(4)(iii).
    This provision, combined with the provision in regulation 
23.503(c) to report

[[Page 55966]]

``any valuation dispute in excess of $20,000,000'' within one 
business day if the dispute is with another SD/MSP or five business 
days for non-SDs/MSPs, should encourage the resolution of disputes. 
These regulations are buttressed by efforts being made by certain 
industry organizations. I encourage the Commission to remain 
vigilant in this area and to monitor the disputes reported to the 
Commission and to engage with the public to determine whether these 
regulations have their intended effect.
    2. The implied cost of credit and the requirement to document 
credit support arrangements under regulation 23.504(b)(3).
    I am concerned that these rules do not expressly require SDs and 
MSPs to document the cost of credit if such costs are a factor in 
the price a SD or MSP charges a counterparty. While this issue has 
been discussed since the earliest days of the negotiations and 
planning surrounding the drafting of the Dodd-Frank Act--and many 
market participants acknowledged that added costs would be attendant 
to engaging in non-cleared transactions--the Commission could 
provide, in this rulemaking, an additional level of transparency to 
transactions involving creditworthiness considerations.\158\ I 
believe that requiring the documentation of the embedded cost of 
credit as a transaction fee or credit premium would have deter the 
practice of charging customers a price on a swap that depends on 
creditworthiness. My concern is mitigated somewhat by regulation 
23.431(d)(2) (a provision finalized in a previous rulemaking) which 
requires that SDs and MSPs provide their non-SD/MSP counterparties 
``with a daily mark, which shall be the mid-market mark of the 
swap.'' \159\ Such a provision would assist an end-user to infer the 
embedded cost of credit they were charged by their SD or MSP 
counterparty. Armed with this information, I encourage market 
participants to seek documentation of the embedded cost of credit as 
a transaction fee or credit premium. As the Commission's regulations 
become effective, I invite the public to alert the Commission if the 
practice of charging a credit fee in the price (i.e., an embedded 
cost of credit) for a swap becomes problematic by, for example, 
diminishing the price discovery utility of real-time data published 
to the public under part 43 of the Commission's rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \158\ See Better Markets comment letter.
    \159\ 77 FR 9733 (Feb. 17, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    3. Rehypothecation of uncleared swaps collateral and the 
requirement to document rehypothecation terms for assets used as 
margin for uncleared swaps under regulation 23.504(b)(3)(iii).
    This requirement is consistent with section 724(c) of the Dodd-
Frank Act (adding section 4s(l)(1)(A) to the CEA) and is a welcome 
inclusion in these rules.\160\ Rehypothecation occurs when a person 
uses assets held as collateral for one counterparty in transactions 
with another counterparty. This practice contributed to the 
financial crisis in a number of ways, including: (1) Rehypothecated 
collateral was particularly difficult to recover in bankruptcy \161\ 
and (2) rehypothecation increases leverage in the financial 
system.\162\ While many buy-side firms are learning from the 
financial crisis and requesting their collateral to be held in 
segregated accounts, the potential for a dealer default that could 
affect rehypothecated collateral still exists. In light of recent 
events, the Commission and the public should keep a watchful eye on 
the risks in this area.
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    \160\ ``A swap dealer or major swap participant shall be 
required to notify the counterparty of the swap dealer or major swap 
participant at the beginning of a swap transaction that the 
counterparty has the right to require segregation of the funds or 
other property.''
    \161\ This is because once the collateral is rehypothecated, 
then the posting party could lose their proprietary interest in the 
collateral and as a result in bankruptcy, such a party could fall 
into the category of unsecured creditors. This can delay or prevent 
recovery of collateral from a bankrupt counterparty.
    \162\ IMF researchers recently estimated that off-balance sheet 
funding for dealers from rehypothecation amounted to $4.5 trillion 
during November 2007 and that it contributed substantially to the 
size of the shadow banking system. See, The (sizeable) Role of 
Rehypothecation in the Shadow Banking System, Manmohan Singh and 
James Aitken, IMF Working Paper, July 2010, available at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2010/wp10172.pdf.

[FR Doc. 2012-21414 Filed 9-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6351-01-P