Banks act to avert derivatives crackdown

THE top 15 banks and securities houses in the worldwide derivatives markets are putting the finishing touches to a new voluntary code which they hope will head off pressure for tougher government regulation, writes Peter Rodgers.

A meeting of senior bankers and securities specialists last weekend at the Ditchley Park conference centre near Oxford backed plans for stricter voluntary reporting of derivatives exposure.

They also recommended the work be taken a stage further, with new proposals to be developed for disclosure of the potential costs to derivatives firms of big market movements.

The Ditchley Park meeting, which included Deryck Maughan, chief executive of Salomon Brothers, William McDonough, president of the New York Federal Reserve, and David Band, chief executive of BZW, was the 10th anniversary meeting of the Institute of International Finance based in Washington.

Charles Dallara, IIF managing director, said yesterday that he expected an initial report by a working group on credit risk in the derivatives markets to be ready within two months.

He believed it would be adopted by the top 15 players in the markets - many of which were represented at the meeting - and would help to raise standards of reporting in the marketplace generally.

Under the proposals, there would be detailed quarterly reporting to central banks.

The next stage, reporting of market exposure, was a much more complicated issue to tackle, Mr Dallara warned.

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