CME Group Inc.’s European clearinghouse and SIX Group’s central-securities depository have agreed to offer an integrated collateral-management service to insurance companies operating in Switzerland.
Once the system gains regulatory approval, financial institutions will be able to put the collateral needed to back trades directly into CME Clearing Europe Ltd.’s account at the Swiss company’s settlement arm. The pair will gradually extend the service to other countries and types of investors, Robert Almanas, managing director of Zurich-based SIX Securities Services said in an interview on May 9.
Collateral management has become more important for financial institutions as regulators around the world have pushed more trading in over-the-counter derivatives through clearinghouses in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008. Central counterparties, such as London-based CME Clearing Europe, hold collateral in the form of securities on behalf of banks and money managers. The European Securities and Markets Authority or ESMA is currently working on how to implement a new set of rules called the European Market Infrastructure Regulation or EMIR.
“The need for collateral and collateral management will continue to grow in this regulatory environment with EMIR and this is an opportunity for us and our customers,” Almanas said in the interview. “Also we will expand our customer base through CME Clearing Europe.”
The collateral-management platform will link customers with CME’s clearinghouse and SIX’s CSD, enabling brokers and asset managers to see how much collateral they have available to meet margin requirements at any time, the companies said in a statement. The system also ringfences each customer’s funds using a process called automated collateral segregation.