Strength turns to weakness for old OTC market

Non-cleared notional falls $36 trillion as costs and complexity grow

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This is the first in a series of four articles examining the future of the non-cleared swaps market. The second article is available here, the third is here, and the fourth is here.

The old-style swaps market – bilateral, bespoke, flexible – is in decline. Its traditional strengths increasingly look like fatal flaws, and the best hope dealers can muster is the revival of a standardisation project that has already failed once.

After an estimated 30% drop in notional outstanding last year, leadi