WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. regulators have delayed a scheduled vote to finalize new governance rules for derivatives clearinghouses and trading platforms, in another setback for the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial law.
The rules, proposed in October, aim to reduce conflicts at clearinghouses and trading platforms as well as to help contain turmoil in the event of crisis. They were set for a vote by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Thursday, but a CFTC spokesman said they would be considered at a later date.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats who backed the trading curbs are urging the agency to move ahead with them, saying Wall Street was trying to weaken or delay the rules.
The delay is the second time in less than a month that the CFTC has put off a vote to implement new sweeping derivatives regulations mandated by the Dodd-Frank law.
On Dec. 16, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler pulled a vote on draft rules to curb speculation in commodities markets amid concerns from Republican commissioners that the regulator was moving too fast.
CFTC spokesman David Gary declined to comment on the reason for the delay in the governance rules for derivatives clearinghouses and trading platforms.
The CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission are racing under a tight timetable set in the Dodd-Frank law to impose a vast new regulatory regime for the $600 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market. Congressional Republicans have been warning regulators not to write rules too hastily.
The financial industry, meanwhile, is ringing alarms about some of the proposals.
Two major industry groups, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, criticized the CFTC's position limit proposal in a Jan. 11 letter to the regulator.
The proposed rules "are not appropriate" and won't fulfill Congress' aim of establishing position limits that don't impair markets, the groups wrote.
In a letter sent to the agency Wednesday, Senate Democrats urged regulators to keep the rulemaking process on track.
"It has become increasingly clear that Wall Street seeks to use the rulemaking process to eviscerate position limits," seven Democratic senators and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) wrote in the letter to CFTC Chairman Gensler. "We urge you to reject calls to delay the new rules."
Along with Sanders, Sens. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.), Carl Levin (D., Mich.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) and Ron Wyden (D. Ore.) signed onto the letter.
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