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Parliamentary questions
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1 February 2013
Answer given by Mr Barnier on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-011050/2012

Regulation 648/2012 on OTC derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories (EMIR)(1) applies to all financial instruments as defined in Section C of Annex I to Directive 2004/39/EC (as implemented by Article 38 and 39 of Regulation (EC) No 1287/2006 (MIFID)). This includes certain foreign exchange derivatives.

The Commission recognises that foreign exchange derivatives that are standardised are generally traded in liquid markets and that a considerable proportion of the market have arrangements in place to mitigate the settlement risk inherent in many types of foreign exchange derivatives. However, counterparty credit risk exists alongside settlement risk in foreign exchange derivative transactions and this needs to be addressed by EU rules. Further, mitigation of settlement risk is not mandatory.

The EMIR framework means that clearing obligations are unlikely to be imposed for deliverable foreign exchange derivative transactions in the EU without an industry initiative. However, there is no express power for the Commission to exempt foreign exchange transactions generally from requirements under EMIR, including bilateral margin requirements. The Commission recognises that if such an exemption were provided for, it could lead to regulatory arbitrage, including the possibility of transactions being re-categorised in order to benefit from such an exemption.

(1)Published in the Official Journal of the EU on 27 July 2012, L 201/1.

OJ C 339 E, 20/11/2013
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