The expected start date for derivatives reporting has been delayed by the European Securities Markets Authority (ESMA) to at least November - but one potential trade repository says it's now unlikely for reporting to begin before 2014.
Under European market infrastructure regulation (EMIR), which falls under ESMA's responsibility, derivatives trades must be reported to a trade repository (TR).
At least four organisations have applied to ESMA to become a TR since mid-March, with the first registration initially expected to be announced around 25 June. However, ESMA has updated the timeline on its website, saying registration of the first TR was "not likely to take place before August".
As reporting obligations take effect 90 days after a TR has been registered, the delay means the first phase of reporting, which applies to interest rate and credit derivatives, has been pushed back from 23 September to mid-November.
Nicolas Boatwright, deputy-managing director at REGIS-TR, which has an application with ESMA to become a TR, said derivatives trades were unlikely to be reported before 2014.
"For those of us who work with IT departments, we know that there are freezes at the end of the year. Therefore, my gut feeling is that it will be delayed beyond the end of the year," he said.
"Some will see the delay as a relief, others might be slightly distressed by the fact that this is the third delay that we look at this year."
REGIS-TR, which is a joint venture between Spanish central securities depository Iberclear and Clearstream, favoured sticking to the original timeline.
Boatwright said reporting obligations were initially going to take effect at the beginning of the year, before being delayed to 1 July and again to 23 September.
"I think the market would like to have some certainty around it."
There was speculation the latest delay was due to staffing issues on their end, with a job being advertised for a temporary TR supervision officer whose main duties included "assessing the applications of TRs for authorization by ESMA".
As far as Boatwright was aware, ESMA did not contact REGIS-TR about the potential delay. The company had received some follow-up questions to its initial application and responded accordingly.
REGIS-TR has since reached out and asked ESMA to confirm it in writing, Boatwright said.
ESMA refused to comment.