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CFTC Plans 8 June Roundtable to Discuss Instrument Identification Standards

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In keeping with its push to keep data standardisation high on the industry agenda and the establishment of a new regulator subcommittee on the subject earlier this month, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has indicated that it will be conducting a public roundtable on 8 June to discuss the technical aspects of the introduction of new unique product identifiers (UPIs). This is all part of the rollout of new procedures and infrastructures for the issuance and maintenance of these new instrument IDs, which are being introduced as part of Dodd Frank’s swaps data recordkeeping requirements.

The roundtable, which will be held at the regulator’s Washington HQ from 1pm until 5pm, will focus on the swaps markets and the products and entities under the CFTC’s jurisdiction. The regulator is therefore hoping the roundtable will assist it in the implementation of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The UPI proposed by the CFTC in the swap data recordkeeping and reporting rulemaking (Part 45) would categorise swaps according to the underlying products referenced in them. While the UPI would be assigned to a particular level of the taxonomy of the asset class or sub-asset class in question, the CFTC and other regulators believe its existence would enable them to aggregate transactions at various taxonomy levels based on the type of product underlying the swap.

The roundtable will therefore encompass discussion about the existing systems of swap product classification and identification currently available. It will also include talk about coordination among various industry product classification and identification workstreams for the purpose of achieving a universal method to describe and classify swap products, as well as the implementation of a universal system of swap product classification and identification for the purpose of meeting various CFTC requirements.

The current work that has been kicked off by the Office of Financial Research (OFR) will likely feature heavily, given that the regulators are keen to foster a joined up approach to the market under the auspices of Dodd Frank. Any identification standard gaps in the swaps market will need to be filled and fast, if action to introduce swaps data repositories and increase transparency of the market overall is to be achieved.

As for logistics: the roundtable will be held in the Conference Centre at the CFTC’s headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington DC. The discussion will be open to the public with seating on a first come, first served basis. Members of the public may also listen by telephone and should be prepared to provide their first name, last name and affiliation.

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