FINRA to hear structured notes need more standardization
Christopher Whalen, the vice president of business development at Institutional Risk Analytics will call for a more uniform complex structured notes framework in a presentation to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Thursday. FINRA promotes securities regulation, but is not associated directly with any government body. The group did sign an agreement for more uniform global regulation with the UK's Financial Services Authority. FINRA is also holding a national seminar with the Securities and Exchange Commission on an outreach program to chief compliance officers in February. CSNs are fixed income securities combined with various types of options and OTC derivatives to enhance returns, according to Whalen's presentation. "My view on CSNs generally is that they need to be sufficiently standardized to have other dealers trade them," said Whalen. "This is an illiquid ghetto tolerated by regulators." "The implied duration held by home owners is the sleeping monster, but there are trillions of dollars in CSNs as well and they also imply vast duration risk," he added. The presentation will explain that CSN investors currently face high valuation risks and high duration risk once interests rates begin to rise. One of the problems, Whalen argues, is that regulators typically focus on risk to banks and do not look to measure the potential impact. His discussion is a call to action in an attempt to hedge that risk. Write to Jacob Gaffney. The author holds no relevant investments.