Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
OCC proposes to revise the method for determining the minimum clearing fund size to include consideration of the amount necessary for OCC to draw on its secured credit facilities.
In its filing with the Commission, OCC included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. OCC has prepared summaries, set forth in sections (A), (B), and (C) below, of the most significant aspects of these statements.
The purpose of this proposed rule change is to implement a minimum clearing fund size equal to 110% of the amount of committed credit facilities secured by the clearing fund to ensure that the amount of the clearing fund likely will exceed the required collateral value that would be necessary for OCC to be able to draw in full on such credit facilities. OCC's clearing fund is primarily intended to provide a high degree of assurance that market integrity will be maintained in the event that one or more clearing members or other specified entities to which OCC has credit exposure fails to meet its obligations.
On September 23, 2011, the Commission approved a proposed rule change by OCC to establish the size of OCC's clearing fund as the amount that is required, within a confidence level selected by OCC, to sustain the maximum anticipated loss under a defined set of scenarios as determined by OCC, subject to a minimum clearing fund size of $1 billion.
Under the formula that is implemented for determining the size of the clearing fund as a result of the May 2012 change, OCC's Rules provide that the amount of the fund is equal to the larger of the amount of the charge to the fund that would result from (i) a default by the single "clearing member group"
This minimum dollar size for OCC's clearing fund is the subject of this proposed rule change. OCC maintains committed credit facilities that are secured by the clearing fund in order to provide a source of liquidity in the event of a default by a clearing member or one of OCC's settlement banks. The proposed rule change arises out of a regular review that OCC conducts in order to determine the appropriate aggregate amount of such committed credit facilities. In addition to its liquidity exposure to the potential failure of a clearing member, OCC also evaluates its liquidity exposure to settlement banks in respect of their ability to wire net settlement proceeds in time for OCC to meet its settlement obligations at one or more of OCC's other settlement banks as well as OCC's credit exposure to banks that issue letters of credit on behalf of clearing members as a form of margin.
OCC's committed credit facilities are secured by assets in the clearing fund and certain margin deposits of suspended clearing members. In light of the uncertainty regarding the amount of margin assets of a suspended clearing member that might be eligible at any given point to support borrowing under the secured credit facilities, OCC has considered the availability of funds based on a consideration of the amount of the clearing fund deposits available as collateral. To draw on the full amount of its credit facilities secured by the clearing fund, the size of the clearing fund would need to be approximately $2.2 billion. The $2.2 billion figure reflects a 10% increase above the total size of such credit facilities, which is meant to account for the percentage discount applied to collateral pledged by OCC in determining the amount available for borrowing.
Based on monthly recalculation information, the size of OCC's clearing fund during the period from July 2011 to July 2012 was less than $2.2 billion on eight occasions. Therefore, to address the risk that the assets in the clearing fund might at any time be insufficient to enable OCC to meet potential liquidity needs by fully accessing its committed credit facilities that are secured by the clearing fund, the proposed rule change would amend the requirement that the minimum size of the clearing fund cannot be less than $1 billion by providing instead that the minimum clearing fund size would be equal to the greater of either $1 billion or 110% of the amount of such committed credit facilities. OCC proposes to denote the credit facility component of the minimum clearing fund requirement as a percentage of the total amount of the credit facilities that OCC actually secures with clearing fund assets because OCC negotiates these credit facility agreements, including size and other terms, on an annual basis and the total size is therefore subject to change.
OCC believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 17A of the Act
OCC does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition.
No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the
(A) By order approve or disapprove the proposed rule change or
(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
The proposals contained in this proposed rule change shall not take effect until all regulatory actions required with respect to the proposals are completed.
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
* Use the Commission's Internet comment form (
* Send an email to
* Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.