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Becoming a Member

OCC provides central counterparty clearing and settlement services to multiple exchanges and platforms for options, financial and commodity futures, security futures and securities lending transactions. OCC clearing members comprise approximately 115 of the largest U.S. broker-dealers, futures commission merchants and non-U.S. securities firms that serve both professional traders and public customers.

Benefits of OCC Membership include:

  • Financial guarantee and safeguards mitigate counterparty credit risk
  • Utility model allows for low transaction fees
  • Cross-margin facility provides margin offset
  • Central processing across multiple exchanges allows for single interface
  • Direct access to reports allows greater control of operations and margins
  • Fungibility across U.S. listed options market
  • State-of-the-art technology (Internet-based, real-time ENCORE clearing system)
  • World Class customer service

Requirements of Membership

  • Applicant must be a broker dealer or FCM registered with the SEC or CFTC, or a non-U.S. securities firm.
  • Applicant must meet minimum net capital requirements (initial requirement is a minimum of $2,500,000 or as determined by OCC's Board of Directors).
  • Applicant must have qualified staff and adequate facilities to self-clear options and interface with OCC and other Clearing Members (or contract for a facilities management arrangement).

Documentation

  • Must Enter all Applicable Information into the OCC Pre-Qualification Online Application
  • Must submit appropriate paperwork received from Pre-Qualification
  • FOCUS Report
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • The Findings of Securities and Commodities Regulators
  • $4,000 Non-refundable Qualification Fee
  • Brief Resumes of Staff Responsible for P&S, Positions Reconciliation and Margin

Site Visit

A Pre-membership Examination is conducted by representatives from OCC's Regulation Department. The session consists of an examination of the firm's books and records and interviews with the firm's principals and compliance staff.

An Operations Orientation is conducted by representatives of OCC's Membership/Operations Services area. The meeting addresses OCC procedures, time frames, reports, input forms, exercise and assignment, Ex-by-Ex procedures, OCC financial and operational services and general OCC information. Specifics of different option products are also reviewed.

Approval

The Applicant's designated examining authority (DEA) is contacted for pertinent information relative to the firm's request for membership with OCC.

The findings of OCC staff from the meetings noted above and the comments from the DEA are submitted to OCC's Membership Committee (which is comprised of members of OCC's Board of Directors) and then to OCC's Board of Directors for membership approval. The Board meets quarterly, so the membership application process may take up to twelve weeks after receipt of a completed membership application.

Interested Applicants are directed to OCC's By-Laws (PDF) and Rules (PDF) for exact requirements and corresponding interpretations. If you would like to apply for OCC Membership the first step is completing our Pre-Qualification Online Application.

 Begin Membership Process