22 May 2009

Minister Welcomes Survey on Australia's Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets

Senator Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, has today welcomed the release of the Survey of OTC Derivatives Markets in Australia which concludes that market risk is low in relation to OTC derivatives market activities in Australia.

The survey was conducted by the OTC Working Group, which comprises the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). The group was formed to monitor international industry developments and assess the Australian OTC derivatives market in the context of an April 2008 Financial Stability Forum (now Financial Stability Board) recommendation.

"The survey confirms that the level of activity and magnitude of existing exposures in the Australian OTC derivatives markets are quite low by international standards," Minister Sherry said.

"The survey also found Australian industry and participants reacted sensibly to the challenge of the global financial crisis, by improving OTC processes and moving to reduce and manage risks."

"This is a mature market response which should be positively acknowledged," Minister Sherry said.

ASIC will also continue in its global leadership role on OTC issues by co-chairing an international stakeholder meeting in Madrid on May 29 as part of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) report Task Force on Unregulated Financial Markets and Products.

"ASIC has played a global leadership role on this project, and I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate our corporate regulator on representing Australia's interest in robust global financial markets," Minister Sherry said.