Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)

Written By
Paul Tracy
Updated November 4, 2020

What is an Options Clearing Corporation (OCC)?

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) is a clearinghouse for equity options and is a guarantor of the obligations in listed options contracts. 

How Does an Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) Work?

The OCC confirms, certifies and clears contract trades.  It also acts as a market maker and trading specialist for a variety of options contracts.

The OCC operates under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Under its SEC jurisdiction, OCC clears transactions for put and call options on stocks, stock indexes, foreign currencies and interest rates. As a registered Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) under CFTC jurisdiction, OCC clears and settles transactions involving futures and futures options.

Why Does an Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) Matter?

As a guarantor of securities contract trades, the OCC ensures that the obligations of the contracts they clear are fulfilled. By guaranteeing that transactions take place as promised, the OCC (and other clearinghouses) ensure markets operate in an efficient and orderly fashion. 

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