On 5 March 2019, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) and  the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a joint press release on the final implementation phases of the margin requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives.

The press release notes that:

  • the Basel Committee and IOSCO realise that market participants may need to amend derivatives contracts in response to interest rate benchmark reforms. Amendments to legacy derivative contracts pursued solely for the purpose of addressing interest rate benchmark reforms do not require the application of the margin requirements for the purposes of the Basel Committee / IOSCO framework, although the position may be different under relevant implementing laws; and
  • in the remaining phases of the framework’s implementation in 2019 and 2020, initial margin requirements will apply to a large number of entities for the first time, potentially involving documentation, custodial and operational arrangements. The Basel Committee and IOSCO note that the framework does not specify documentation, custodial or operational requirements if the bilateral initial margin amount does not exceed the framework’s €50 million initial margin threshold. It is expected, however, that covered entities will act diligently when their exposures approach the threshold to ensure that the relevant arrangements needed are in place if the threshold is exceeded.

The Basel Committee and IOSCO will continue to monitor the effect of meeting the final stage of phase-in, scheduled for 2020.