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NR 1999-14
Contact: Kevin M. Mukri
(202) 649-6870

OCC Highlights Basle and IOSCO Consultative Paper on Trading and Derivatives Activities of Banks and Securities Firms

WASHINGTON, DC — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) advises national banks today that the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision and the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have issued a consultative paper with recommendations for public disclosure of trading and derivatives activities of banks and securities firms.

All interested parties, including national banks, are invited to make comments to the two Committees regarding the recommendations contained in the paper by May 31, 1999. It is the intention of the Committees to release a final version of the paper in the second half of 1999.

The recommendations in the paper follow two main themes. First, institutions should provide users of financial information with a comprehensive picture of their trading and derivatives activities. Second, institutions should disclose information produced by internal risk management systems on their risk exposures and actual performance in managing exposures.

"Investors, lenders, and other market participants cannot make sound financial decisions without adequate information," said Susan Krause, OCC Senior Deputy Comptroller for International Affairs and member of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision.

Ms. Krause chairs the Basle Committee's Transparency Group which prepared the paper in collaboration with the IOSCO Working Group on the Regulation of Financial Intermediaries, chaired by Mr. Richard Britton of the UK Financial Services Authority.

The consultative paper is part of a continued effort by the two Committees to encourage banks and securities firms to provide market participants and the general public with sufficient information on their trading and derivatives activities.

Mr. William J. McDonough, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, chairs the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision which is made up of representatives of central and supervisory authorities of the Group of Ten countries and Luxembourg.

Supervisory authorities for securities firms from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Ontario, Quebec, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, are members of the IOSCO Technical Committee which is chaired by Mr. Michel Prada, President of the Commission des Operations de Bourse in France.

The paper entitled, "Recommendations for Public Disclosure of Trading and Derivatives Activities of Banks and Securities Firms," can be obtained from the Internet site of the Bank of International Settlements at www.bis.org, the IOSCO Internet site at www.iosco.org, or may be requested from the OCC's Communications division at (202) 874-4700.

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