European regulators defer bilateral OTC derivatives margining requirement for one year

The European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA – ESAs), in response to the COVID-19 outbreak have published joint draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) to amend the Delegated Regulation on the risk mitigation techniques for non-centrally cleared OTC derivatives (bilateral margining), under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), to incorporate a one-year deferral of the two implementation phases of the bilateral margining requirements.

The ESAs have intensified their coordination with national competent authorities (NCAs), as well as with relevant authorities from other jurisdictions in order to ensure adequate regulatory actions where needed during this crisis. In this context, these amending draft RTS were developed to facilitate further an internationally coordinated approach on how to adapt the implementation of the bilateral margin requirements.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced on 3 April[1] their agreement to defer by one year, the deadline for completing the final two implementation phases of the bilateral margin requirements, in order to provide additional operational capacity for counterparties to respond to the immediate impact of COVID-19. The ESAs draft RTS present the changes to the Delegated Regulation on bilateral margining to incorporate in the EU regulatory framework the one-year deferral agreed by the BCBS and IOSCO.

These changes would result in covered counterparties with an aggregate average notional amount of non-centrally cleared derivatives above €50 billion becoming subject to the requirement to exchange initial margin from 1 September 2021, while covered counterparties with an aggregate average notional amount of non-centrally cleared derivatives above €8 billion becoming subject to the requirement from 1 September 2022.

The full announcement is available at https://www.esma.europa.eu/press-news/esma-news/joint-rts-amendments-bilateral-margin-requirements-under-emir-in-response-covid

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