As Basel III and Dodd-Frank financial reform takes effect, global banks' quest for capital efficiency will continue to drive more derivatives transactions to centralized clearing and result in a boon for exchange and clearing house operators, industry consultant Mayra Rodriguez Valladares said.
The implications for big U.S.-based banks "could not be clearer," Valladares said in a new report. Higher capital requirements under Basel III "are here to stay." Banks will thus be focused on ways to reduce capital requirements, which can be done by transacting derivatives with central counterparties.
In recent months, CME Group and other exchange operators noted increasing bank activity in futures contracts or futures-like products, "something that would have been unimaginable a few years ago." But only about 4% of the top 25 U.S. banks went through exchanges for derivatives transactions as of the second quarter, a percentage that's sure to climb.
Given this low percentage, clearinghouses and exchanges "are looking at a big business opportunity as banks increasingly comply with Dodd-Frank," she said. Valladares, a CME Group featured contributor, is managing principal with MRV Associates, a New York based capital markets and financial regulatory consulting firm.