On May 11, 2016, the Bank of England published a Financial Stability Paper on legal certainty for central counterparty default management processes. In the context of legal certainty, the paper focuses on the ability of CCPs effectively to manage a large member default. The paper provides analysis of the three key stages in the process of managing a default at a clearing house: (i) declaration of default; (ii) returning to a matched book; and (iii) managing collateral to absorb the losses caused by the default.

The paper examines the rules governing CCP default management and the extent to which they provide legal certainty. The current legal framework provides certainty around many aspects of financial markets which has been created through the interaction of contract and legislation at both UK and EU levels. Legislation such as the UK Companies Act 1989, European Market Infrastructure Regulation, Settlement Finality Regulation and the Financial Collateral Arrangements (No. 2) Regulation all provide protections but apply in different situations resulting in a patchwork of partial safe harbors. The Bank of England highlights various steps that could be taken to make this legislative   framework more robust and coherent.

The Financial Stability Paper is available at:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/financialstability/Documents/fpc/fspapers/fs_paper37.pdf.