On 19 March a cross-industry agreement between banks setting out common standards for derivatives trades was published by the British Bankers Association (BBA) so as to bring clarity and certainty to a major reform of Europe's financial market infrastructure. The agreement helps banks and their clients ensure the consistent classification of counterparties undertaking derivatives trades – a crucial step as industry moves to meet the requirements of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). Consistent classification of the financial counterparties or non-financial counterparties is crucial in assessing and mitigating the risks involved in over-the-counter-derivative trades. Under EMIR certain classes of derivatives trades may need to be cleared through an authorised central counterparty.