Banks: Banks, CCIL in talks to build 3rd-party clearing process, unlock trade

Mumbai: Domestic and European banks have started regular talks with the Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL) to build structures needed for third-party clearing of government bonds and derivatives, paving the way for starting trades worth billions of dollars that may otherwise have stalled due to a stand-off between the regulators home and away.

“Banks and CCIL are in talks for the third-party clearing mechanism. In its securities settlement segment, the CCIL permitted certain members to become clearing members in 2020,” a source aware of the developments told ET. “Clearing members can take on the European banks as clients and trades can be carried out.”

“The matter now is to do with forex forwards and IRS (interest rate swap). There, the operationalisation of clearing members has not yet started. The structures are in place. Requests have already come in on the operational aspects of this system,” the source said.

An email sent to the CCIL requesting a comment on the matter did not receive a response by the time of publication. The CCIL houses the trading platform for Indian government bonds as well as derivatives such as overnight indexed swaps (OIS).

According to a separate source, once the clearing member model in forex forwards and the IRS segment were to be operationalised, domestic banks could then facilitate trading for the European banks.

In March 2020, the CCIL introduced a tiered membership structure in its securities segment. Subsequently, in November 2020, the CCIL’s Clearing Member Structure in the rupee IRS Guaranteed Segment went live, while three months later, the clearing member structure in the forex forward segment was introduced. “The way it would need to happen would be that a bank like ICICI Bank, or SBI or HDFC Bank will have to take on the responsibility, the margin risk, the risk of default for one of the four European banks. The CCIL would be on the other side,” the source said.

European banks with a presence in Indian bond and derivatives markets include Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank.Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas declined to comment. Mails to Societe Generale and Credit Agricole did not receive responses by press time. ICICI, SBI and HDFC also did not respond to emails seeking comment.

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