By Eleni Himaras
Nomura ICE Trust Membership A Positive Step
The recently-formed Swaps and Derivatives Markets Association believes that Nomura's acceptance as an Intercontinental Exchange Trust U.S. credit default swap clearing member is a positive step towards the group's goal of more access to clearing for boutique and mid-market banks.
Nomura joins as the fourteenth clearing member in the U.S. and is already a member of ICE Clear Europe. It is the smallest bank that has been admitted to the U.S. arm, having a market cap of about USD21.7 billion. It is also the first bank headquartered in Asia to join. Royal Bank of Scotland is the next smallest bank with a market cap of USD24.62 billion. "Nomura being admitted to ICE is obviously a positive step towards open access that should lead to the acceptance of other high quality experienced clearing firms." said Mike Hisler, spokesman for SDMA and partner at broker-dealer and boutique investment bank Hexagon Securities in New York.
An ICE spokeswoman said that Nomura's acceptance does not mean ICE has changed or lowered its bar for admittance. SDMA has more than 20 members, most of which are boutique firms. They've been lobbying politicians on both sides of the aisle for months to incorporate language into the financial reform bill that would provide better open access to clearinghouses for banks such as BNY Mellon and State Street. BNY Mellon has a market cap of about USD31.6 billion and State Street has one of about USD18.2 billion.