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April 15, 2013

Can pitfalls of Central Clearing be avoided?

OTC clearing processes are officially up and running since March 11th for the US category 1 firms,  but at the same time operational risk fears build up as market participants strive to fine tune all parts of the clearing chain. The industry realizes that it's not a UAT period any more, it's the real thing happening and as it moves on to next phases, no matter how well prepared firms may be, hidden pitfalls may cause tremendous turbulence, as Risk.net puts it in its piece titled "Op risk fears as OTC clearing gathers steam", quoting the concerns raised at an industry event in New York. I can't help thinking that with such wide-ranging changes in the structure of the OTC derivatives market, we need to focus simultaneously on such a large number of issues, connection to SEFs, adoption of affirmation and confirmation platforms, management of reporting to trade repositories… the sell side may be familiar with CCP clearing and its procedures, but the buy-side is not. They have much less experience in CCP-related operational processes. They are about to face a new reality. Are they well prepared? I am curious to see how Clearing will evolve once all firms around the Globe are in……. Maria L.


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