Major swap participant

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A "major swap participant" (MSP) as defined by the Dodd-Frank Act is a financial entity that engages in a substantial amount of swap transactions, but not enough to be defined as a "swap dealer." [1]

There are three parts to the definition of a major swap participant. A person who satisfies any one of them is a major swap participant:

  1. A person who maintains a “substantial position” in any of the major swap categories, excluding positions held for hedging or mitigating commercial risk and positions maintained by certain employee benefit plans for hedging or mitigating risks in the operation of the plan.
  2. A person whose outstanding swaps create "substantial counterparty exposure that could have serious adverse effects on the financial stability of the United States banking system or financial markets."
  3. Any "financial entity" that is "highly leveraged relative to the amount of capital such entity holds and that is not subject to capital requirements established by an appropriate Federal banking agency" and that maintains a “substantial position” in any of the major swap categories.

If, however, the entity trades above a certain threshold, it is classified instead as a "swap dealer." The dealer threshold will be set by the CFTC at its April 18, 2012 open meeting.

For more information, see the MarketsReformWiki page on swaps definitions.


  1. Definitions Contained in Title VII of Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Federal Register.