EUROPE – ABN Amro has launched a new interest-rate swaps product – MiniSwaps - aimed at institutions such as pension funds and insurers as well as corporates and fund managers.

“MiniSwaps are open-ended securities that can be traded by users previously prevented from trading derivative contracts for regulatory, credit, or documentation reasons,” the bank said in a statement.

Pension funds, such as the 283 billion-crown (38 billion-euro) Danish labour market scheme ATP, have disclosed that they are using interest-rate swaps to hedge market risk.

The new product was “absolutely” aimed at pension funds and insurers, said Philip Whitehurst of the bank’s London structured product trading team in an interview. “It’s extremely simple in its construction. It couldn’t be more simple.”

The impetus behind the launch was “daily conversations with large numbers of customers who have problems trading swaps,” Whitehurst said. “This product will solve a number of problems for a number of user groups in managing their risk.”

“MiniSwaps are a revolutionary product that open up the interest-rate trading market for arrange of new users,” said the bank’s global head of distribution for financial markets, Robert Douch, in the statement.