LCH.Clearnet's interest rate swap (IRS) clearing service, SwapClear, has launched the industry's first certification programme for consultancy firms preparing market participants for the implementation of centralised OTC clearing.
Five consultancies have already signed up to join the global initiative, which provides experience-based certification and CCP-authorized resources to better inform industry practitioners at this critical time.
The SwapClear Consultancy Certification Program (CCP²) launches as buy-side participants begin to clear in earnest ahead of the regulatory mandate. To date, four consultancies have become certified under the programme: Accenture, Catalyst Development, Rule Financial and Sapient Global Markets. In addition, Deloitte has joined the programme as a Knowledge Partner.
End-user client firms have cleared more than USD 5trn notional of interest rate derivatives using SwapClear's proven and robust risk management framework. With cleared IRS volumes and SwapClear membership expected to increase significantly in the coming months, harnessing relevant experience will be a key ingredient in the successful implementation of global clearing mandates for many firms.
The CCP² programme gets its name from the combined value that a central counterparty (CCP) offering a consultancy certification programme (CCP) can provide the marketplace. The certification process requires applicants to undergo an assessment of the depth and scope of their experience in OTC clearing. It also necessitates familiarity with some of its core components. Consultancies can register for certification in any of up to 10 categories, although approval is not guaranteed by SwapClear. Uncertified participation is also available for Knowledge Partners.
"Clearing firms and buy-side clients are facing significant challenges as they look to implement central clearing for OTC derivatives," says Jeff Bandman (pictured), head of partnerships and alliances at SwapClear. "This innovative programme is designed to create a more efficient framework that will assist market participants as they adjust to the new regulatory environment. In addition, it represents a further example of SwapClear's commitment to collaboration for the benefit of all market participants."
"CCP² provides a valuable tool to help market participants address the new wave of regulatory requirements," says Dean Jayson, managing director of Accenture's capital markets practice in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and head of Accenture Trading Services in the UK and Ireland. "By offering rigorous accreditation criteria, SwapClear is helping its customers with the smooth and efficient adoption of OTC clearing. Accenture has deep experience in this area, and we are pleased to offer our services to SwapClear member firms and their clients through this programme."