CFTC seeks input to fix swap data reporting problems

By Margaret Scullin

“[T]he data submitted to [swap data repositories] and, in turn, to the [Commodity Futures Trading] Commission is not usable in its current form.” So said Commissioner Scott O’Malia in a speech one year ago. He described the swap data reporting problem as a “nightmare”, explaining that the absence of a common language meant that the data being reported was not uniform. The sheer volume of data was also challenging the CFTC’s information technology capabilities.

In January 2014, the CFTC announced the formation of an interdivisional working group to review the CFTC’s swap data reporting and recordkeeping requirements and ultimately to resolve reporting challenges.

This month, the CFTC published approximately 70 questions for public input. Questions address such topics as the types of information that should be reported within certain categories (such as creation data and life cycle events), challenges being faced by reporting parties, and ownership and use of reported data. Responses are due within 60 days after the publication of the request for comment in the Federal Register.