The European Commission has given a green-light to new rules that make it mandatory for certain over-the-counter (OTC) interest rate derivative contracts to be cleared through central counterparties.
According to the European Commission, interest rate contracts account for around 80 percent of all global derivatives issued over-the-counter. The new EU rules will cover interest rate swaps denominated in euro, pounds sterling, Japanese yen or U.S. dollars, a statement released on Thursday said.
The estimated daily turnover in the European Union (EU) of OTC interest rate derivative contracts denominated in the above currencies was over 1.5 trillion euros (1.64 trillion U.S. dollars) as of April 2013.
The EU said that mandatory central clearing was a vital part of the response to the financial crisis, improving transparency and mitigating risks.
"Today we take a significant step to implement our G20 commitments, strengthen financial stability and boost market confidence. This is also part of our move towards markets that are fair, open and transparent," said Jonathan Hill, EU Commissioner for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union.
The clearing obligations will be phased in over three years, after the scrutiny by the European Parliament and the 28 state members of the EU.