Although the staff report does not make recommendations on the appropriate de minimis level, it stated that its analysis of the data for the review period found “a wide range in the size of banks that routinely engaged in [interest rate swaps] and [credit default swaps] activity.” The report found that the majority of interest rate swap and credit default swap activity within the banking sector, as measured by notional amount, appears to be concentrated in larger bank enterprises.
CFTC Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo released a statement taking issue with the “arbitrary” de minimis threshold:
There is no policy basis whatsoever for the current threshold of $8 billion and no policy basis for lowering it to $3 billion. The report provides no reason to believe that the threshold has anything to do with optimizing the safety, soundness, liquidity or vibrancy of U.S. swaps markets.
Comments on the report are due by Jan. 19.