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OCC BULLETIN 2018-37
To: Chief Executive Officers of All National Banks, Federal Savings Associations, and Federal Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banking Organizations; Department and Division Heads; All Examining Personnel; and Other Interested Parties

Description: Final Rule

Summary

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the board), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Farm Credit Administration, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (collectively, the agencies) published a final rule in the Federal Register to amend their regulations regarding the minimum margin and capital requirements for registered swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants. This rule is known as the Swap Margin Rule. The OCC’s Swap Margin Rule applies to certain national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations (collectively, banks).

Note for Community Banks

The OCC expects the final rule to have minimal impact on community banks.

Highlights

When the agencies published the Swap Margin Rule on November 30, 2015, they aligned the definition of Eligible Master Netting Agreement (EMNA) with the definition of Qualified Master Netting Agreement (QMNA) in the OCC’s, the board’s, and the FDIC’s capital and liquidity rules. The OCC, the board, and the FDIC revised the definition of QMNA in their capital and liquidity rules effective January 1, 2018, in rules commonly referred to as the QFC (qualified financial contracts) Rules. The QFC Rules established restrictions on and requirements for certain QFCs, including certain non-cleared swaps, of global systemically important banking institutions and their subsidiaries.

On February 21, 2018, the agencies proposed amending the EMNA definition to align with the revised QMNA definition and to ensure that netting agreements of firms subject to the Swap Margin Rule are not excluded from the EMNA definition based solely on their compliance with the QFC Rules.

This final rule adopts the proposed change to the EMNA definition. In addition, this final rule makes clear that a legacy swap (i.e., a swap entered into before the applicable compliance date of the Swap Margin Rule and, therefore, not subject to its margin requirements) does not become subject to the Swap Margin Rule if it is amended solely to conform to the QFC Rules.

Further Information

Please contact Allison Hester-Haddad, Counsel, Chief Counsel’s Office, at (202) 649-5490.

Bao Nguyen
Acting Chief Counsel

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