(Adds timing in 10th paragraph)
By Douwe Miedema
WASHINGTON, March 31 A U.S. Treasury Department
unit said on Monday it had signed a formal agreement with the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission to help it sort out a raft
of derivatives data and get a better handle on the global $690
The CFTC, which oversees futures and swaps, has complained
it still is not getting a full and clear picture of what is
happening in the derivatives market because the data it receives
from market participants is not adequate.
"Each of the (companies) has different systems architecture
and reporting technology," said the memorandum of understanding
between the CFTC and the Treasury's Office of Financial
Research. "These differences have created challenges to CFTC's
efforts to review, analyze and aggregate the data."
The OFR was set up after the 2007-09 financial crisis to
help regulators get better data on the institutions and markets
they oversee, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law gave it
sweeping powers to collect the data.
Reuters reported last week that infighting between market
parties is one reason why CFTC still does not get good quality
swaps data, something it has been complaining about ever since
buyers and sellers were required to report trades more than a
Also, the three main data providers, or Swap Data
Repositories, use different formats, making it all but
impossible to aggregate the information.
A CFTC working group is now meeting regularly with the
industry to agree on standards, harmonizing such data fields as
a timestamp. The joint OFR/CFTC project would build on this work
and would involve another working group with staff of the two
agencies, they said.
The swaps market is dominated by large financial service
companies like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co
and Citigroup Inc. It was long unregulated, but
came under the CFTC through Dodd-Frank.
The three SDRs are run by the world's largest futures
exchange, CME Group Inc ; Intercontinentalexchange Group
Inc, which owns the New York Stock Exchange; and
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp, which does back-office
services for the Wall Street banks that own it.
The project would last until May 1, 2014, the two parties
said, and could be extended with another six months.
(Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andrea