Transparency premium: insurers seek swaps reporting reform

US insurers claim their bespoke swaps are being front-run, raising hedging costs

Something strange has been happening on the derivatives trading desks of US insurance companies in recent years. When executing a bespoke product such as a long-dated forward starting swap, a request for quote (RFQ) is sent to dealers, prices are received and the trade is executed in the normal fashion. Then, 15 minutes later, the phone rings. A bank salesperson would like to know why the insurance company didn’t execute the trade with them – even though they weren’t in the RFQ. 

The timing of

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