On 26 January 2024, the Board of the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO) published a consultation report on post trade reduction services (PTRRS).

In 2015, IOSCO published the Risk Mitigation Standards (the Standards), setting out standards aimed at mitigating risk in the non-centrally cleared over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets. At the time the Standards were published, the only PTRRS widely available in the market were portfolio compression services. Since then, similar services have been developed, including counterparty risk optimisation services. In December 2021, the IOSCO Board approved a project specification proposed by Committee 7 on Derivatives (Committee 7) to assess the risks associated with the increased use of PTRRS and concentration of PTRRS providers, particularly in the areas of portfolio compression and counterparty risk optimisation.

The consultation report:

  • Provides an overview of the work conducted by IOSCO to date in relation to PTRRS, including the parameters of the Committee 7 mandate that forms the basis of the report.
  • Defines what services are considered PTRRS for the purposes of the report and provides an overview of the firms offering PTRRS.
  • Provides a summary of how PTRRS are used by market participants, including their benefits, market participants’ due diligence, and possible barriers to using PTRRS.
  • Provides general findings on the potential challenges and risks and areas for policy consideration relating to PTRRS.
  • Given the potential policy considerations and risks identified, proposes sound practices to mitigate the challenges and risks identified for consultation.

Key findings

IOSCO’s key findings include:

  • PTRRS offers important benefits: These include post-trade operational efficiencies, reduction in counterparty risk and, potentially, an overall reduction in systemic risk.
  • PTRRS may pose a number of challenges and risks: There are a number of potential challenges and risks associated with PTRRS, including those relating to market concentration of service providers, a lack of transparency regarding the algorithms used by providers, and a lack of meaningful due diligence by users of PTRRS.
  • Limited data, regulation and direct oversight globally: Survey results and the responses from the roundtables indicate that while PTRRS are widely used in many jurisdictions, there is very limited data received by regulatory authorities, in addition to either limited or no direct regulatory oversight of PTRRS.

Kevin Fine, Chair of IOSCO’S Committee on Derivatives (Committee 7) said: “PTRRS play an increasingly significant role in the efficient functioning of OTC derivatives markets. It is important that IOSCO understands both the benefits and the evolving risks associated with the use of PTRRS, the challenges that market participants face in using such services, and whether there are ways to improve market practices.”

Next steps

IOSCO is seeking input from market participants on the discussion question in the consultation report, as well as the proposed sound practices. The deadline for comments is 1 April 2024.