A trade repository (TR) is a database that ensures the centralised electronic capture of transaction data for derivatives transactions. A major reason for establishing TRs goes back to the lessons learned from OTC derivatives contracts during the last global financial crisis. The prevailing practice at the time of merely documenting the data of such transactions on a decentralised basis with the relevant counterparties made it much more difficult for market participants and supervisory authorities to identify risks in the respective markets. By collating and storing relevant information and, where necessary, making this available, TRs can close this transparency gap. A decision was therefore taken at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in September 2009 that all OTC derivatives transactions need to be registered with a TR. This G20 provision has been implemented in the EU via the EU Regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (European Market Infrastructure Regulation – EMIR).
The supervision and oversight of European trade repositories is the sole responsibility of the European Securities Market Authority (ESMA).