Following the announcement by LCH.Clearnet last week of its bid to enter the European credit default swap (CDS) clearing counterparty (CCP) market, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) has indicated its own intentions to establish a transatlantic model for the market. The ongoing furore surrounding splitting CDS clearing between Europe and the US would therefore become a non-issue, according to ICE.
The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) have been vigorously campaigning for the introduction of a European specific clearer but these proposals have been met with criticism from those concerned about splitting dollar clearing from euro. Players such as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and the Futures and Options Association (FOA) have indicated that they believe regional clearing to be a costly and counterproductive measure.
ICE is already relatively set to launch its US-based CDS CCP this year and the European version would use its existing London-based clearer, ICE Clear Europe, and extend its remit to CDSs. According to the exchange operator, it is currently in talks with the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) to do just that.