FSB publishes recommendations on seclending and repo

The Financial Stability Board has released its next paper on possible steps for managing risk in the “Shadow Banking” world of securities lending and repo. Some of these recommendations are tame while others have very serious potential implications. We will be providing our analysis on several of these recommendations as the weeks go on. For today however, below are the recommendations themselves.

Recommendation 1: Authorities should collect more granular data on securities lending and repo exposures amongst large international financial institutions with high urgency. Such efforts should to the maximum possible extent leverage existing international initiatives such as the FSB Data Gaps Group, taking into account the enhancements suggested by the Workstream.

Recommendation 2: Trade repositories (TRs) are likely to be the most effective way to collect comprehensive repo and securities lending market data. The FSB should consult on the appropriate geographical and product scope of such TRs. The FSB should encourage national/regional authorities to undertake feasibility studies for the establishment of TRs for individual repo and securities lending markets, as well as coordinate and facilitate those efforts. Depending on the consultation findings on the appropriate geographical and product scope of TRs, the FSB should also establish a working group to identify the appropriate scope and undertake a feasibility study for one or more TRs at a global level. Such feasibility studies should involve market participants.

Recommendation 3: As an interim step, the FSB should coordinate a set of market-wide surveys by national/regional authorities to increase transparency for financial stability purposes and inform the design of TRs. Such market-wide surveys should make publicly available aggregate summary information on securities lending and repo markets on a regular basis.

Recommendation 4: The FSB should work with standard setting bodies internationally to improve public disclosure requirements for financial institutions’ securities lending, repo and wider collateral management activities as needed, taking into consideration the items noted above.

Recommendation 5: Authorities should review reporting requirements for fund managers to end-investors in line with the proposal by the Workstream.

Recommendation 6: Regulatory authorities should introduce minimum standards for the methodologies that firms use to calculate collateral haircuts. Those guidelines should seek to minimise the extent to which these methodologies are pro-cyclical. Standard setters (e.g. BCBS) should review existing regulatory requirements for the calculation of collateral haircuts in line with this recommendation.

Recommendation 7: In principle, there is a case for introducing a framework of numerical floors on haircuts for securities financing transactions where there is material procyclicality risk. Such floors would work alongside minimum standards for the methodologies that firms use to calculate collateral haircuts. However, the FSB should be mindful of possible unintended consequences for market liquidity and the functioning of markets. The FSB should consult on whether a framework of numerical floors would be effective and workable in achieving the policy objectives. This would include consultation on the levels and the scope of application of such framework by counterparty, collateral, and transaction type (see sections 3.1.4 – 3.1.5).

Recommendation 8: Regulatory authorities for non-bank entities that engage in securities lending (including securities lenders and their agents) should implement regulatory regimes meeting the proposed minimum standards for cash collateral reinvestment in their jurisdictions to limit liquidity risks arising from such activities.

Recommendation 9: Authorities should ensure that regulations governing re-hypothecation of client assets address the following principles:
• Financial intermediaries should provide sufficient disclosure to clients in relation to re-hypothecation of assets so that clients can understand their exposures in the event of a failure of the intermediary;
• In jurisdictions where client assets may be re-hypothecated for the purpose of financing client long positions and covering short positions, they should not be re-hypothecated for the purpose of financing the own-account activities of the intermediary; and
• Only entities subject to adequate regulation of liquidity risk should be allowed to engage in the re-hypothecation of client assets.

Recommendation 10: An appropriate expert group on client asset protection should examine possible harmonisation of client asset rules with respect to re-hypothecation, taking account of the systemic risk implications of the legal, operational, and economic character of re-hypothecation.

Recommendation 11: Authorities should adopt minimum regulatory standards for collateral valuation and management for all securities lending and repo market participants.

Recommendation 12: Authorities should evaluate the costs and benefits of proposals to introduce CCPs in their securities lending and repo markets, especially in cases where important funding providers in the repo market are currently not participating in existing CCPs.

Recommendation 13: Changes to bankruptcy law treatment and development of Repo Resolution Authorities (RRAs) may be viable theoretical options but should not be prioritised for further work at this stage due to significant difficulties in implementation.

The full FSB document is available here.

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