Commodity Futures Trading Commission
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Release: #5143-05
For Release: December 14, 2005

CESR Chairman Visits US CFTC Chairman and Attends Global Markets Roundtable

The Chairmen of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) met in Washington, on December 13 as the CFTC held a Global Markets roundtable on cross-border derivatives issues involving the U.S. and Europe.

CFTC Chairman Reuben Jeffery III and CESR Chairman Arthur Docters van Leeuwen explained the status of their ongoing transatlantic dialogue and work program and announced that the next meeting will be held no later than April 2006.

The December 13 Roundtable, attended by CFTC Commissioners, representatives of the US Securities Exchange Commission and the US Federal Reserve and members of the regulated futures industry, focused on impediments to trans-Atlantic derivatives business in the U.S. and Europe.

CESR Chairman Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, in his first appearance at a US regulatory consultative forum, presented a description of CESR's role in European financial regulation. In particular, he described the work of CESR and its members, the evolution of the European regulatory framework for financial services, the direction of the CFTC-CESR dialogue, and how the ongoing legislative changes in Europe have heightened interest in the work of CESR internationally. The move in Europe to integrate futures markets within its new investment services legislation also has intensified interest by futures firms and exchanges doing global business in Europe more generally.

The Roundtable Agenda included a discussion of various issues faced by firms doing business across the Atlantic. The participants provided feedback on matters such as lack of transparency of financial services laws, rules and regulations, differential account opening standards for know your customer requirements, definitions of retail and wholesale markets and customers, complexity of varying bankruptcy regimes, and identification of different requirements that could be standardized as global regulators seek to avoid duplication and inconsistency.

Anthony Belchambers, Chief Executive of the U.K. Futures and Options Association (FOA), also presented a report on regulatory convergence of the trans-Atlantic markets. This report, sponsored in part by the Futures Industry Association and the Securities Industry Association, is complementary to the CESR/CFTC work program.

Arthur Docters van Leeuwen, Chairman of CESR, in commenting on the occasion, said:

"On behalf of all my colleagues, securities and derivatives supervisors in Europe, I thank Chairman Jeffery and the CFTC for this important initiative which has enabled us to build further on the very positive work CESR and the CFTC have been conducting together since our unique joint Roundtable in February 2005. As you may recall, this drew together for the first time both regulators and market participants to establish a result-oriented work programme of practical measures which could be implemented to assist transatlantic business. Today's event continues that important dialogue which is particularly critical given the interdependency of our financial markets and activities and which takes place against a backdrop of continually evolving markets on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result, an essential element of our effectiveness as regulators will be our ability to develop mutual understanding and to build trust to ensure that these increasingly globalised markets function with the confidence of all and to the benefit of all."

Chairman of the CFTC, Reuben Jeffery III, who hosted the CESR Chairman and who opened the Roundtable said:

"We were honored to have Chairman Docters van Leeuwen as our distinguished guest. His presence at our Global Markets Roundtable continues the open discussions among regulators and industry participants on a variety of topics affecting the global financial community. Familiarizing ourselves with each others' regulatory regimes and accomplishing work within more structured dialogues, such as those launched with CESR earlier this year, are necessary in today's global marketplace. Inviting international regulatory representatives to the CFTC to participate in industry roundtables is an important step toward improving efficiency of and access to markets, conditions of trading and customer protection."

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Alan Sobba (202) 418-5080
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Office of External Affairs

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Andrea M. Corcoran
CFTC Office of International Affairs

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