12 CFR § 44.5 - Permitted risk-mitigating hedging activities.

§ 44.5 Permitted risk-mitigating hedging activities.

(a)Permitted risk-mitigating hedging activities. The prohibition contained in § 44.3(a) does not apply to the risk-mitigating hedging activities of a banking entity in connection with and related to individual or aggregated positions, contracts, or other holdings of the banking entity and designed to reduce the specific risks to the banking entity in connection with and related to such positions, contracts, or other holdings.

(b)Requirements. The risk-mitigating hedging activities of a banking entity are permitted under paragraph (a) of this section only if:

(1) The banking entity has established and implements, maintains and enforces an internal compliance program required by subpart D of this part that is reasonably designed to ensure the banking entity's compliance with the requirements of this section, including:

(i) Reasonably designed written policies and procedures regarding the positions, techniques and strategies that may be used for hedging, including documentation indicating what positions, contracts or other holdings a particular trading desk may use in its risk-mitigating hedging activities, as well as position and aging limits with respect to such positions, contracts or other holdings;

(ii) Internal controls and ongoing monitoring, management, and authorization procedures, including relevant escalation procedures; and

(iii) The conduct of analysis, including correlation analysis, and independent testing designed to ensure that the positions, techniques and strategies that may be used for hedging may reasonably be expected to demonstrably reduce or otherwise significantly mitigate the specific, identifiable risk(s) being hedged, and such correlation analysis demonstrates that the hedging activity demonstrably reduces or otherwise significantly mitigates the specific, identifiable risk(s) being hedged;

(2) The risk-mitigating hedging activity:

(i) Is conducted in accordance with the written policies, procedures, and internal controls required under this section;

(ii) At the inception of the hedging activity, including, without limitation, any adjustments to the hedging activity, is designed to reduce or otherwise significantly mitigate and demonstrably reduces or otherwise significantly mitigates one or more specific, identifiable risks, including market risk, counterparty or other credit risk, currency or foreign exchange risk, interest rate risk, commodity price risk, basis risk, or similar risks, arising in connection with and related to identified positions, contracts, or other holdings of the banking entity, based upon the facts and circumstances of the identified underlying and hedging positions, contracts or other holdings and the risks and liquidity thereof;

(iii) Does not give rise, at the inception of the hedge, to any significant new or additional risk that is not itself hedged contemporaneously in accordance with this section;

(iv) Is subject to continuing review, monitoring and management by the banking entity that:

(A) Is consistent with the written hedging policies and procedures required under paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

(B) Is designed to reduce or otherwise significantly mitigate and demonstrably reduces or otherwise significantly mitigates the specific, identifiable risks that develop over time from the risk-mitigating hedging activities undertaken under this section and the underlying positions, contracts, and other holdings of the banking entity, based upon the facts and circumstances of the underlying and hedging positions, contracts and other holdings of the banking entity and the risks and liquidity thereof; and

(C) Requires ongoing recalibration of the hedging activity by the banking entity to ensure that the hedging activity satisfies the requirements set out in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and is not prohibited proprietary trading; and

(3) The compensation arrangements of persons performing risk-mitigating hedging activities are designed not to reward or incentivize prohibited proprietary trading.

(c)Documentation requirement - (1) A banking entity must comply with the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section with respect to any purchase or sale of financial instruments made in reliance on this section for risk-mitigating hedging purposes that is:

(i) Not established by the specific trading desk establishing or responsible for the underlying positions, contracts, or other holdings the risks of which the hedging activity is designed to reduce;

(ii) Established by the specific trading desk establishing or responsible for the underlying positions, contracts, or other holdings the risks of which the purchases or sales are designed to reduce, but that is effected through a financial instrument, exposure, technique, or strategy that is not specifically identified in the trading desk's written policies and procedures established under paragraph (b)(1) of this section or under § 44.4(b)(2)(iii)(B) of this subpart as a product, instrument, exposure, technique, or strategy such trading desk may use for hedging; or

(iii) Established to hedge aggregated positions across two or more trading desks.

(2) In connection with any purchase or sale identified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a banking entity must, at a minimum, and contemporaneously with the purchase or sale, document:

(i) The specific, identifiable risk(s) of the identified positions, contracts, or other holdings of the banking entity that the purchase or sale is designed to reduce;

(ii) The specific risk-mitigating strategy that the purchase or sale is designed to fulfill; and

(iii) The trading desk or other business unit that is establishing and responsible for the hedge.

(3) A banking entity must create and retain records sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this paragraph (c) for a period that is no less than five years in a form that allows the banking entity to promptly produce such records to the OCC on request, or such longer period as required under other law or this part.