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U.S. SEC to propose Treasury market clearing reforms to address resilience fears

U.S. SEC to propose Treasury market clearing reforms to address resilience fears

Reuters · 09/14/2022 06:00
U.S. SEC to propose Treasury market clearing reforms to address resilience fears

By Michelle Price and Pete Schroeder

- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is scheduled on Wednesday to propose draft rules to boost the resilience of the $24 trillion Treasury market, the world's largest bond market, which serves as a benchmark for dollar assets globally.

The reforms, which will aim to expand the use of centralized clearing, according to a the SEC published last week, follow snafus in the market in recent years which have raised concerns about its ability to function during times of stress.

Most , Treasury market liquidity all but evaporated in March 2020 as COVID-19 pandemic fears gripped investors, prompting the Federal Reserve to prop up the market. Traders say they continue to see liquidity problems with some securities, Reuters reported last month.

Since 2020, the SEC and other U.S. regulators have been exploring reforms to boost the market's resilience. The SEC's five commissioners are scheduled to vote on its proposed changes during an open meeting at around 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) on Wednesday.

The SEC said the agency would consider amendments to certain clearing rules for Treasury market participants, without providing details. Central clearing involves sending trades to a clearing house, which requires both counterparties put up cash to guarantee the trade's execution in the event either defaults.

Overall, just 13% of Treasury cash transactions are centrally cleared, according to estimates in a 2021 Treasury Department report.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has advocated expanding centralized clearing of Treasuries on the basis that the process increases resilience by bringing additional capital into the market during times of stress.


(Reporting by Michelle Price; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((michelle.price@thomsonreuters.com; +12026041711; Twitter: @michelleprice36;))