Foreign regulators leave US isolated on uncleared margin rules

The extraterritorial application of US uncleared margin proposals will make it tough for US banks to compete with their foreign counterparts unless the proposals are copied by regulators elsewhere

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As appeals go, the one made on June 6 by US Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner was pretty direct: “Just as we have global minimum standards for bank capital – expressed in a tangible international agreement – we need global minimum standards for margins on uncleared derivatives trades,” he said, at a conference in Atlanta.

That kind of consensus seems a long way off. Although the European Union plans to introduce uncleared margin rules – proposals could appear in October or November – five oth