SEC’s Gensler says agency plans to restart security-based swaps rulemaking

Prepared Remarks of Gary Gensler, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Before the American Bar Association Derivatives and Futures Law Committee Virtual Mid-Year Program
July 21, 2021

When Congress decided to bring reforms to the overall swaps market, they assigned authority over security-based swaps to the SEC. They assigned the bulk of the swaps market —including interest-rate, energy, agricultural, and other commodity-based swaps — to our sister agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which I had the honor of chairing at the time.

In these reforms, Congress sought to address two main issues in this previously unregulated market: reducing risk and increasing transparency.

The reforms included two main ways to reduce risk. First, dealers would have to register with the SEC. In doing so, they’d need to have key back-office controls and adequate cushions against losses, through both their capital levels and customer margin.

This year, the SEC is implementing rules related to some of those authorities mandated by Congress 11 years ago.

To that end, security-based swap dealers and major security-based swap participants will begin registering with the Commission by Nov. 1. We expect that 45 to 50 entities will register as security-based swap dealers — some of which will be from the same family of firms.

The registration requirements include new counterparty protections, requirements for capital and margin, internal risk management, supervision and chief compliance officers, trade acknowledgement and confirmation, and recordkeeping and reporting procedures. These areas are focused on reducing risk in our markets.

Further, given the global nature of the security-based swaps market, international dealers have asked the SEC for the ability to comply with rules from their home jurisdictions, while still meeting U.S. regulations.

The full speech is available at https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/gensler-remarks-aba-derivatives-futures-law-committee-virtual-mid-year-program-072121

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