The ICMA ERCC Operations Group has been seeking to promote the increased efficiency and wider use of affirmation in the repo market by encouraging potential service-providers to offer automated transaction matching products. The TMA Template is intended to ensure that competing products meet the minimum needs of the industry without introducing differences in the scope or definition of the information to be affirmed. The Template and Glossary of definitions set out below have been developed in cooperation with potential service-providers and are based on current available information. However, it is expected that the recommendations will evolve further and are still subject to change as the relevant regulatory requirements are being finalised.
In due course, it is hoped that the project can be extended to other securities financing transactions, in particular, securities lending and borrowing. In the meantime, the Operations Group welcomes comments, questions and suggestions from the market and all potential service-providers.
Click here to download the TMA Template
Glossary of terms
Affirmation in the repo market is the process of one party seeking urgent validation from the other of the key economic terms and settlement addresses of selected transactions either immediately after execution or during the life of a transaction after any material change to that information. Transactions selected for affirmation tend to be those exposed to greater operational risk due to complexity, eg floating-rate, forward-start and longer-term repos.
Affirmation supplements the contractual obligation to confirm transactions, which is set out in the GMRA between two parties. In contrast to the affirmation process, the confirmation process is the mandatory validation of the complete economic terms and settlement addresses of all new transactions and material changes to existing transactions. Confirmation must be in writing but this medium includes electronic messages. However, best practice and regulatory requirements in some countries are that electronic confirmations must be capable of reproduction in a durable medium.
Currently, affirmation is a manual process in which the operations group of one party telephones or e-mails the operations area of the other party, lists the key economic terms and settlement addresses of the selected transactions or any material changes and requests the other party to immediately agree or identify details on which they disagree. Like confirmation, affirmation is vital in ensuring parties are certain of the risks to which they are exposed and that their regulatory reporting is accurate.
The purpose and practice of confirmation and affirmation is discussed in sections 2.32 - 2.51 of the ICMA ERCC Guide to Best Practice in the European Repo Market.
Director, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy, Secretary to the ICMA European Repo and Collateral Council (ERCC)
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0333