EC to invite banks to discuss CDS legislation

4 March 2010

The European Commission (EC) is calling on banks and regulators to meet to discuss new regulations surrounding credit default swaps (CDS).

According to sources familiar with the matter, the meeting is to discuss pricing surrounding the swaps and how they are connected to the sale of sovereign bonds, Bloomberg reported.

Financial supervisors will meet in the morning and participants in the CDS market in the afternoon of March 5th to debate the products and their place in the market.

Chantal Hughes , EC spokeswoman, told the news provider: “We are looking at the issue very closely. We need to be vigilant. We will be calling shortly a meeting of regulators, supervisors and the industry to discuss.”

The news follows comments from EU internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier that an investigation into the CDS market is to be launched.

CDS has recently been the subject of debate within the financial markets due to their possible role in the economic volatility recently seen in Greece.

A number of investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, are alleged to have taken part in CDS which allowed the Greek government to massage its debt figures.

Gerald Corrigan, a Goldman Sachs managing director, recently told a Treasury Select Committee, that its transactions did enable Greece to reduce GDP to debt ratio by a small amount.

By Jim Ottewill

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