CFTC eases foreign regulators' access to swaps data

WASHINGTON Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:30pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The futures regulator approved a plan on Monday to make it easier for foreign regulators to access U.S. swaps data.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission voted 3-2 to waive, under certain circumstances, a requirement that its foreign counterparts sign indemnification agreements that would make them liable for any costs arising from lawsuits over shared data.

Foreign regulators and some lawmakers have said the indemnification agreements would interfere with data sharing that is crucial for monitoring risk across the global financial system.

"The Commission concludes that the confidentiality and indemnification provisions should not operate to inhibit or prevent foreign regulatory authorities from accessing data in which they have an independent and sufficient regulatory interest," the CFTC said in a statement.

The decision comes as the CFTC faces heavy criticism from foreign regulators over the way its new swaps rules - called for by the Dodd-Frank Act, the financial reform law enacted in 2010 - would apply overseas.

Global policymakers are finalizing new rules for the swaps market after regulators were blindsided by banks' widespread swaps exposure during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

In May, the CFTC proposed exempting foreign regulators that require swap repositories to register and report data locally.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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