House Lawmakers Circulate Cross-Border Swaps Bill

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WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Financial Services and Agriculture committees is drafting a bill to address ongoing concerns with a series of cross-border swaps provisions.

The Dodd-Frank reform law gave the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission first-time authority to oversee over-the-counter derivatives, but the agencies and foreign regulators have yet to come up with a solution about how swaps trading will work internationally.

SEC Chairman Elisse Walter said earlier this year that a pending proposal to deal with cross-border swaps is a top agency priority, and so far the SEC has garnered some praise for its careful, albeit slow, approach. The CFTC, meanwhile, has been subject to greater criticism after issuing proposed interpretive guidance, instead of a formal rule. The agency has delayed compliance with some cross-border provisions until this summer, when it hopes to have its guidance finalized.

The March 11 draft legislation being floated by lawmakers would attempt to sync the agencies' efforts and address some remaining concerns over the rules. It would direct the two agencies to jointly adopt one set of formal rules for cross-border swaps, and would generally not subject traders in G-20 member nations to the U.S. rules.

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