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"Predatory" margins and the regulation and supervision of central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs)


  • Krahnen, Jan Pieter
  • Pelizzon, Loriana


This note discusses the basic economics of central clearing for derivatives and the need for a proper regulation, supervision and resolution of central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs). New regulation in the U.S. and in Europe renders the involvement of a central counterparty mandatory for standardized OTC derivatives' trading and sets higher capital and collateral requirements for non-centrally cleared derivatives. From a macrofinance perspective, CCPs provide a trade-off between reduced contagion risk in the financial industry and the creation of a significant systemic risk. However, so far, regulation and supervision of CCPs is very fragmented, limited and ignores two important aspects: the risk of consolidation of CCPs on the one side and the competition among CCPs on the other side. i) As the economies of scale of CCP operations in risk and cost reduction can be large, they provide an argument in favor of consolidation, leading at the extreme to a monopoly CCP that poses the ultimate default risk - a systemic risk for the entire financial sector. As a systemic risk event requires a government bailout, there is a public policy issue here. ii) As long as no monopoly CCP exists, there is competition for market share among existing CCPs. Such competition may undermine the stability of the entire financial system because it induces "predatory margining": a reduction of margin requirements to increase market share. The policy lesson from our consideration emphasizes the importance of a single authority supervising all competing CCPs as well as of a specific regulation and resolution framework for CCPs. Our general recommendations can be applied to the current situation in Europe, and the proposed merger between Deutsche Börse and London Stock Exchange.

Suggested Citation

  • Krahnen, Jan Pieter & Pelizzon, Loriana, 2016. ""Predatory" margins and the regulation and supervision of central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs)," SAFE White Paper Series 41, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:safewh:41

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yang-Ho Park & Nicole Abruzzo, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis of Futures Margin Changes: Determinants and Policy Implications," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 65-100, February.
    2. Marie-Noëlle Calès & Laurent Granier & Nadège Marchand, 2012. "Competition between Clearing Houses on the European Market," Post-Print halshs-00959121, HAL.
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    5. Bluhm, Marcel & Krahnen, Jan Pieter, 2014. "Systemic risk in an interconnected banking system with endogenous asset markets," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 75-94.
    6. Olga Lewandowska, 2015. "OTC Clearing Arrangements for Bank Systemic Risk Regulation: A Simulation Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(6), pages 1177-1203, September.
    7. Yang-Ho Park & Nicole Abruzzo, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis of Futures Margin Changes: Determinants and Policy Implications," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 65-100, February.
    8. Dietrich Domanski & Leonardo Gambacorta & Cristina Picillo, 2015. "Central clearing: trends and current issues," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pawe³ Fiedor & Sarah Lapschies & Lucia Országhová, 2017. "Networks of counterparties in the centrally cleared EU-wide interest rate derivatives market," Working and Discussion Papers WP 7/2017, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    2. Váradi, Kata & Ladoniczki, Sára Kata, 2018. "Elszámolóházak alapbiztosítéki követelményeinek számítási módszertana
      [Numerical methodology in the basic insurance requirements of clearing houses]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 780-809.
    3. Brühl, Volker, 2018. "The clearing of euro OTC derivatives post Brexit: Why a uniform regulation and supervision of CCPs is essential for European financial stability," CFS Working Paper Series 592, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    4. Friedrich, Jan & Thiemann, Matthias, 2018. "A new governance architecture for European financial markets? Towards a European supervision of CCPs," SAFE White Paper Series 53, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.

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    central counterparties; CCP; derivatives; financial market regulation; financial market supervision;

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