Examining key trends in the derivatives market—H1 review 2017

Examining key trends in the derivatives market—H1 review 2017

What are the key documentation trends in the derivatives markets for the first half of 2017? Doug Shaw, counsel, and Hannah Patterson, managing associate at Linklaters, review the derivatives market and take a look at the latest developments.

What are the key issues in derivatives at the moment?

The derivatives industry has undergone a tremendous amount of regulatory-driven change in the last decade. While the dust has nearly settled, the market is still working hard to implement the patchwork of new rules and adjust to the realities of the new trading environment.

It continues to be a complex job for lawyers to analyse the new requirements and a significant challenge for market participants to adapt and upgrade their systems to achieve compliance. That process is even more complex for market participants that are caught by multiple regulatory regimes.

How has the market dealt with the margin requirements being implemented?

The transition into the provision of initial margin (IM) appears to have been successful, although implementation has been a huge undertaking that has demanded a great deal of resource. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published a suite of standard documents to aide compliance and most ‘phase 1’ institutions (ie those subject to the obligations from the outset due to their trading volumes) saw no significant interruption to trading when the obligations went live in September 2016 and February 2017.

In contrast, many market participants had been concerned about the phase-in of variation margin (VM) for the remainder of the market on 1 March 2017. Those rules capture a far larger number of market participants and required tens of thousands of documents to be updated or entered into afresh in a relatively short space of time. While the statements made by the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the European Supervisory Authorities and the Financial Conduct Authority at the end of February 2017 have given some breathing room, there continues to be a lot of work required behind the scenes to ensure implementation as

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About the author:

Meet Emma:

1.  Banking and finance lawyer with experience in derivatives, debt capital markets, securitisation and structured finance in London and Paris

2.  Likes ballet, playing the harp and holidays

3.  Thinks the law is always changing!

Emma trained and qualified at Allen & Overy LLP and worked in their derivatives and structured finance teams in London and Paris.  She then joined the foreign exchange prime brokerage legal team at Deutsche Bank before spending 4 ½ years with Crédit Agricole CIB advising the fixed income and derivatives desk.