Swaps regulator bolts for job with bank lobby

Scott O’Malia, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who announced his departure from the agency this week, will serve as chief executive and director of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the group said Wednesday.

O’Malia’s tenure at the CFTC saw the agency expand its authority dramatically, with new oversight responsibility for the $400 trillion derivatives market.

In his new role at the international trade group, O’Malia will work to ensure “efficient global derivatives markets,” said ISDA Chairman Stephen O’Connor, who cited evolving “margin, capital, clearing, trade execution and reporting rules and regulations.”

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which handed the CFTC its expanded jurisdiction over derivatives, also required the agency to draft scores of rules meant to tamp down on risky and speculative practices seen as contributing to the economic crisis.

O’Malia, a former aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), offered a Republican perspective on many regulations drawn up under the statute, including some related to international derivatives trading.

“Although I did not support all 63 rules that the commission has implemented under Dodd-Frank, I am pleased to have to contributed to the policy deliberations to improve Commission rule-makings and encouraged the Commission to be mindful of negative policy outcomes,” he said this week in a letter to President Obama announcing his resignation from the CFTC.

O’Malia, confirmed to the CFTC in 2009, will step down on Aug. 8. He begins his new role at ISDA 10 days later, the group said. The association includes 800 member institutions in 64 countries.

More in Banking/Financial Institutions

Lawmakers question Holder on bank settlement proceeds

Read more »