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U.S. swaps regulator seeks help from markets to clean up data

Mark Wetjen, acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effe
Mark Wetjen, acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee about the effe

By Douwe Miedema

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. derivatives regulator on Wednesday asked market participants to answer a long list of questions it hopes will help it cope with a deluge of data on the $630 trillion market it newly regulates.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has repeatedly said it is drowning in the flood of data it has started to receive from data warehouses and from clearing houses, and that it cannot adequately monitor risk as a result.

"Different (data) repositories aren't using the same data fields, that's an issue ... as a consequence we're just not seeing a full clear picture of what's happening in the market place," Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen told journalists at a business conference, when asked about the release.

The CFTC was put in charge of the swaps trading market as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of Wall Street, and has since written a raft of new rules to make the system less vulnerable to sudden shocks.

The list of some 70 questions addressed topics such as the reporting of the economic terms of a swap, confirmation data, different transactions types, and the harmonization of data fields submitted by different providers.

Global regulators in January highlighted a lack of reliable data as a major concern, five years after the sudden break down in the financial system highlighted the limited insight watchdogs have into bank risks.

The industry, largely unregulated before the crisis, is dominated by large banks such as Citigroup Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp .

(Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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