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EU announces derivatives trading crackdown

The European Commission has outlined its plans for tougher regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives trading.

Under the proposals, OTC derivatives - which are traded off-exchange between two parties - will be processed through clearing houses, while contracts relating to the deals have to be reported to trade depositaries.

This information will then be made available to regulators when required, reports the Financial Times.

Michel Barnier, internal market commissioner for the EU, said the aim of the regulation is to stop OTC derivatives trading being a "wild west territory".

"We are proposing rules which will bring more transparency and responsibility to derivatives markets - so we know who is doing what and who owes what to whom," he stated.

Earlier this month, Mr Barnier reassured companies operating in the European financial sector that they will not be put at a competitive disadvantage to their global rivals by more centralized control of activities such as derivatives trading and short selling.

By Tony Aynsley