CME Group Inc. announced Thursday that its long-delayed credit derivatives clearing effort would officially launch Dec. 15, with the support of eight dealer banks as founding members in the effort.

The derivatives exchange operator said it had signed agreements with Barclays Capital, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and UBS AG to support the initiative.

CME, of Chicago, joins rivals IntercontinentalExchange Inc. and Deutsche Boerse AG's Eurex unit, which began clearing credit derivatives transactions earlier this year. Regulators have called for mandatory clearing of swap transactions as a way to reduce systemic risk in the over-the-counter derivatives market, which has been blamed for worsening the global financial crisis.

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