Skip to Content

Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish Procedures Regarding the Monthly Resizing of its Clearing Fund and the Addition of Financial Resources

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble March 27, 2015.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on March 13, 2015, The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by OCC.[3] The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

OCC proposes to establish procedures regarding the monthly resizing of its Clearing Fund and the addition of financial resources through intra-day margin calls and/or an intra-month increase of the Clearing Fund to ensure that it maintains adequate financial resources in the event of a default of a Clearing Member or group of affiliated Clearing Members presenting the largest exposure to OCC.

II. Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

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.

(A) Clearing Agency's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The proposed rule change is intended to describe the situations in which OCC would exercise authority under its Rules to ensure that it maintains adequate Financial Resources [4] in the event that stress tests reveal a default of the Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group [5] presenting the largest exposure would threaten the then-current Financial Resources. This proposed rule change would establish procedures governing: (i) OCC's resizing of the Clearing Fund on a monthly basis pursuant to Rule 1001(a) (the “Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure”); and (ii) the addition of Financial Resources through an intra-day margin call on one or more Clearing Members under Rule 609 and, if necessary, an intra-month increase of the Clearing Fund pursuant to Rule 1001(a) (the “Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure”).[6] The Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure would permit OCC to determine the size of the Clearing Fund by relying on a broader range of sound risk management practices than those historically used under Rule 1001(a).[7] The Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure would require OCC to collect additional Financial Resources in certain circumstances, establish how OCC calculates and collects such resources and provide the timing by which such resources would be required to be deposited by Clearing Members.

Background

OCC monitors the sufficiency of the Clearing Fund on a daily basis but, prior to emergency action taken on October 16, 2014,[8] OCC had no express authority to increase the size of the Clearing Fund on an intra-month basis.[9] During ordinary course daily monitoring on October 15, 2014, and as a result of increased volatility in the financial markets in October 2014, OCC determined that the Financial Resources needed to cover the potential loss associated with a default of the Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group presenting the largest exposure could have exceeded the Financial Resources then available to apply to such a default.

To permit OCC to increase the size of its Clearing Fund prior to the next monthly resizing that was scheduled to take place on the first business day of November 2014, OCC's Executive Chairman, on October 16, 2014, exercised certain emergency powers as set forth in Article IX, Section 14 of OCC's By-Laws [10] to waive the effectiveness of the second sentence of Rule 1001(a), which states that OCC will Start Printed Page 17809adjust the size of the Clearing Fund monthly and that any resizing will be based on data from the preceding month. OCC then filed an emergency notice with the Commission pursuant to Section 806(e)(2) of the Payment, Clearing and Settlement Supervision Act of 2010 [11] and increased the Clearing Fund size for the remainder of October 2014 as otherwise provided for in the first sentence of Rule 1001(a).[12]

Clearing Members were informed of the action taken by the Executive Chairman [13] and the amount of their additional Clearing Fund requirements, which were met without incident. As a result of these actions, OCC's Clearing Fund for October 2014 was increased by $1.8 billion. In continued reliance on the emergency rule waiver and in accordance with the first sentence of Rule 1001(a), OCC set the November 2014 Clearing Fund size at $7.8 billion, which included an amount determined by OCC to be sufficient to protect OCC against loss under simulated default scenarios (i.e., $6 billion), plus a prudential margin of safety (the additional $1.8 billion collected in October).[14] All required contributions to the November 2014 Clearing Fund were met by affected Clearing Members.

Under Article IX, Section 14(c), absent the submission of a proposed rule change to the Commission seeking approval of OCC's waiver of the provisions of the second sentence of Rule 1001(a), such waiver would not be permitted to continue for more than thirty calendar days from the date thereof.[15] Accordingly, on November 13, 2014, OCC submitted SR-OCC-2014-21 to delete the second sentence of Rule 1001(a) and, by the terms of Article IX, Section 14(c), preserve the suspended effectiveness of the second sentence of Rule 1001(a) beyond thirty calendar days.[16]

SR-OCC-2014-21 was submitted in part to permit OCC to determine the size of its Clearing Fund by relying on a broader range of sound risk management practices than considered in basing such size on the average daily calculations under Rule 1001(a) that are performed during the preceding calendar month. The Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure, as described below, is based on such broader risk management practices and establishes the procedures OCC would use to determine the size of the Clearing Fund on a monthly basis. Similarly, SR-OCC-2014-21 was submitted in part to permit OCC to resize the Clearing Fund more frequently than monthly when the circumstances warrant an increase of the Clearing Fund. The Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure, as described below, establishes the procedures that OCC would use to add Financial Resources through an intra-day margin call on one or more Clearing Members under Rule 609 and, if necessary, an intra-month increase of the Clearing Fund pursuant to Rule 1001(a).[17]

Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure

Under the Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure, OCC would continue to calculate the size of the Clearing Fund based on its daily stress test exposures under simulated default scenarios as described in the first sentence of Rule 1001(a) and resize the Clearing Fund on the first business day of each month. However, instead of resizing the Clearing Fund based on the average of the daily calculations during the preceding calendar month, as stated in the suspended second sentence of Rule 1001, OCC would resize the Clearing Fund so that it is the sum of: (i) An amount equal to the peak five-day rolling average of Clearing Fund draws observed over the preceding three calendar months of daily idiosyncratic default and minor systemic default scenario calculations based on OCC's daily Monte Carlo simulations (“Base Amount”) and (ii) a prudential margin of safety determined by OCC and currently set at $1.8 billion.[18]

OCC believes that the proposed Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure provides a sound and prudent approach to ensure that the Financial Resources are adequate to protect against the largest risk of loss presented by the default of a Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group. By virtue of using only the peak five-day rolling average and by extending the look-back period, the proposed Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure is both more responsive to sudden increases in exposure and less susceptible to recently observed decreases in exposure that would reduce the overall sizing of the Clearing Fund, thus mitigating procyclicality.[19] Furthermore, the prudential margin of safety provides an additional buffer to absorb potential future exposures not previously observed during the look-back period. The proposed Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure would be supplemented by the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure, described below, to provide further assurance that the Financial Resources are adequate to protect against such risk of loss.

Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure

Under the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure, OCC would use the same daily idiosyncratic default calculation as under the Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure to monitor daily the adequacy of the Financial Resources to withstand a default by the Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group presenting the largest exposure under extreme but plausible market conditions.[20] If such a daily idiosyncratic default calculation projected a draw on the Clearing Fund (a “Projected Draw”) that is at least 75% of the Clearing Fund maintained by OCC, OCC would be required to issue an intra-day margin call pursuant to Rule 609 against the Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group that caused such a draw (“Margin Call Event”).[21] Start Printed Page 17810Subject to a limitation described below, the amount of the margin call would be the difference between the Projected Draw and the Base Clearing Fund (“Exceedance Above Base Amount”). In the case of a Clearing Member Group that causes the Exceedance Above Base Amount, the Exceedance Above Base Amount would be pro-rated among the individual Clearing Members that compose the Clearing Member Group based on each individual Clearing Member's proportionate share of the “total risk” for such Clearing Member Group as defined in Rule 1001(b), i.e., the margin requirement with respect to all accounts of the Clearing Member Group exclusive of the net asset value of the positions in such accounts aggregated across all such accounts. However, in the case of an individual Clearing Member or a Clearing Member Group, the margin call would be subject to a limitation under which it could not exceed the lower [22] of: (a) $500 million, or (b) 100% of a Clearing Member's net capital. Such limitation would be measured in aggregate with any funds remaining on deposit with OCC deposited by the same Clearing Member pursuant to a Margin Call Event within the same monthly period, as applicable until collection of all funds to satisfy the next regular monthly Clearing Fund resizing (the “500/100 Limitation”).[23]

Upon satisfaction of the margin call, OCC would use its authority under Rule 608 to preclude the withdrawal of such additional margin amount until it collects all of the funds determined by the next Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure. Based on three years of back testing data, OCC determined that it would have had Margin Call Events in 10 of the months during this time period. For each of these months, the maximum call amount would have been equal to $500 million, with one exception in which the maximum call amount for the month was $7.7 million.[24] After giving effect to the intra-day margin calls, i.e., by increasing the Financial Resources by $500 million, there was only one Margin Call Event where there was an observed stress test exceedance of the Financial Resources.

To address this one observed instance, the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure also would require OCC to increase the size of the Clearing Fund (“Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event”) if a Projected Draw exceeds 90% of the Clearing Fund, after applying any funds then on deposit with OCC from the applicable Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group pursuant to a Margin Call Event. The amount of such increase (“Clearing Fund Increase”) would be the greater of: (a) $1 billion; or (b) 125% of the difference between (i) the Projected Draw, as reduced by the deposits resulting from the Margin Call Event and (ii) the Clearing Fund. Each Clearing Member's proportionate share of the Clearing Fund Increase would equal its proportionate share of the variable portion of the Clearing Fund for the month in question as calculated pursuant to Rule 1001(b).

OCC would notify the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors (the “Risk Committee”), Clearing Members and appropriate regulatory authorities of the Clearing Fund Increase on the business day on which the Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event occurred. This ensures that OCC management maintains authority to address any potential Financial Resource deficiencies when compared to its Projected Draw estimates. The Risk Committee would then determine whether the Clearing Fund Increase was sufficient, and would retain authority to increase the Clearing Fund Increase or the margin call made pursuant to a Margin Call Event in its discretion. Clearing Members would be required to meet the call for additional Clearing Fund assets by 9:00 a.m. CT on the second business day following the Clearing Fund Intra-Month Increase Event. OCC believes that this collection process ensures additional Clearing Fund assets are promptly deposited by Clearing Members following notice of a Clearing Fund Increase, while also providing Clearing Members with a reasonable period of time to source such assets. Based on OCC's back testing results, after giving effect to the intra-day margin call in response to a Margin Call Event plus the prudential margin of safety, the Financial Resources would have been sufficient upon implementing the one instance of a Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event.

OCC believes the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure strikes a prudent balance between mutualizing the burden of requiring additional Financial Resources and requiring the Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group causing the increased exposure to bear such burden. As noted above, in the event of a Margin Call Event, OCC limits the margin call until collection of all funds to satisfy the next regular monthly resizing to an aggregate of $500 million, or 100% of a Clearing Member's net capital in order to avoid putting an undue liquidity strain on any one Clearing Member. However, where a Projected Draw exceeds 90% of OCC's Clearing Fund, OCC must act to ensure that it has sufficient Financial Resources, and determined that it should mutualize the burden of the additional Financial Resources at this threshold through a Clearing Fund Increase. OCC believes that this balance would provide OCC with sufficient Financial Resources without increasing the likelihood that its procedures would, based solely on stress testing results, cause a liquidity strain on any on Clearing Member that could result in such member's default.

The following examples illustrate the manner in which the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure would be applied. All assume that the Clearing Fund size is $7.8 billion, $6 billion of which is the Base Amount and $1.8 billion of which is the prudential margin of safety. The 75% threshold in these examples is $5.85 billion.

Example 1: Single CM

Under OCC's stress testing the Projected Draw attributable to Clearing Member ABC, a Clearing Member with no affiliated Clearing Members and net capital of $500 million, is $6.4 billion, or 82% of the Clearing Fund. OCC would make a margin call for $400 million, which represents the Exceedance Above Base Amount. In this case the 500/100 Limitation would not be applicable because the Exceedance Above Base Amount is less than $500 million and 100% of the Clearing Member's net capital. The Clearing Member would be required to meet the $400 million call within one hour unless OCC prescribed a different time, and OCC would retain the $400 million until collection of all the funds to satisfy Start Printed Page 17811the next monthly Clearing Fund sizing calculation.

If, on a different day within the same month, CM ABC's Projected Draw minus the $400 million already deposited with OCC results in an Exceedance above Base Amount, another Margin Call Event would be triggered, with the amount currently deposited with OCC applying toward the 500/100 Limitation.

Example 2: Clearing Member Group

Under OCC's stress testing the Projected Draw attributable to Clearing Member Group DEF, comprised of two Clearing Members each with net capital of $800 million, is $6.2 billion, or 79% of OCC's Clearing Fund. OCC would initiate a margin call on Clearing Member Group DEF for $200 million. The call would be allocated to the two Clearing Members that compose the Clearing Member Group based on each Clearing Member's risk margin allocation. In this case the 500/100 Limitation would not be applicable because the Exceedance Above Base Amount is less than $500 million and 100% of net capital. The margin call would be required to be met within one hour of the call unless OCC prescribed a different time. For example, in the case where one Clearing Member accounts for 75% of the risk margin for the Clearing Member Group, that Clearing Member would be allocated $150 million of the call and the other Clearing Member, accounting for 25% of the risk margin for the Clearing Member Group, would be allocated $50 million of the call. The funds would remain deposited with OCC until collection of all the funds to satisfy the next monthly Clearing Fund sizing calculation.

Example 3: Clearing Member Group With $500 Million Cap

Under OCC's stress testing the Projected Draw attributable to Clearing Member Group GHI, comprised of two Clearing Members each with net capital of $800 million, is $6.8 billion, or 87% of the Clearing Fund. The Exceedance Above Base Amount would be $800 million, allocated to the two Clearing Members that compose the Clearing Member Group based on each Clearing Member's risk margin allocation. Using the 75/25 risk margin allocation from Example 2, one Clearing Member would be allocated $600 million and the other Clearing Member would be allocated $200 million. The first Clearing Member would be required to deposit $500 million with OCC, which is the lowest of $500 million, that member's net capital, or that member's share of the Exceedance Above Base Amount, and the other Clearing Member would be required to deposit $200 million with OCC. After collecting the additional margin, OCC would determine whether the Projected Draw would exceed 90% of the Clearing Fund after reducing the Projected Draw by the additional margin. This calculation would divide a Projected Draw of $6.1 billion, which is the original Projected Draw of $6.8 billion reduced by the additional margin, by the Clearing Fund of $7.8 billion. The resulting percentage of 78% would be below the 90% threshold, and accordingly there would not be a Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event.

Example 4: Margin Call and Increase in Size of Clearing Fund

Under OCC's stress testing the Projected Draw attributable to Clearing Member JKL, a Clearing Member with no affiliated Clearing Members and net capital of $600 million, is $10.0 billion, or 128% of the Clearing Fund. OCC would make a margin call for $500 million, which represents the lowest of the Exceedance Above Base Amount, $500 million and 100% of net capital. The Clearing Member would be required to meet the $500 million call within one hour unless OCC prescribed a different time, and OCC would retain the $500 million until collection of all the funds to satisfy the next monthly Clearing Fund sizing calculation.

After collecting the additional margin, OCC would determine whether the Projected Draw would exceed 90% of the Clearing Fund after reducing the Projected Draw by the additional margin. This calculation would divide a Projected Draw of $9.5 billion, which is the original Projected Draw of $10 billion reduced by the additional margin, by the Clearing Fund of $7.8 billion. The resulting percentage of 122%, while lower, would still exceed the 90% threshold, and accordingly OCC would declare a Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event. To calculate the Clearing Fund Increase, OCC would first determine the difference between the modified Projected Draw ($9.5 billion) and the Clearing Fund ($7.8 billion), which in this case would be $1.7 billion, OCC would then multiply this by 1.25, resulting in $2.125 billion. Because this amount is greater than $1 billion, the Clearing Fund Increase would be $2.125 billion and a modified Clearing Fund of OCC totaling $9.925 billion ($425 million in excess of the modified Projected Draw of $9.5 billion).

2. Statutory Basis

OCC believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act,[25] and the rules and regulations thereunder. By establishing sound procedures governing the monthly resizing of the Clearing Fund and how OCC would add Financial Resources in response to a Margin Call Event and a Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event, the proposed modifications would further ensure that OCC is capable of safeguarding securities and funds which are in the custody or control of OCC or for which it is responsible and protecting investors and the public interest. The development of the Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure and the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure also ensures that OCC has procedures designed to maintain sufficient financial resources to withstand, at a minimum, a default by the participant family to which it has the largest exposure in extreme but plausible market conditions, in compliance with Rule 17Ad-22(b)(3).[26]

(B) Clearing Agency's Statement on Burden on Competition

OCC does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition.[27] OCC believes the proposed rule change would not unfairly inhibit access to OCC's services or disadvantage or favor any particular user in relationship to another user because OCC would establish the size of the Clearing Fund in accordance with the Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure and without regard to any particular user or Clearing Member that makes Clearing Fund contributions. Furthermore, OCC would respond to a Margin Call Event and Clearing Fund Intra-month Increase Event in accordance with the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure without regard to any particular user or Clearing Member.

For the foregoing reasons, OCC believes that the proposed rule change is in the public interest, would be consistent with the requirements of the Act applicable to clearing agencies, and would not impose a burden on competition.Start Printed Page 17812

(C) Clearing Agency's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments on the proposed rule change were not and are not intended to be solicited with respect to the proposed rule change and none have been received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period up to 90 days (i) as the Commission may designate if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the self- regulatory organization consents, the Commission will:

(A) by order approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, or

(B) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-OCC-2015-009. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549 on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of OCC and on OCC's Web site at http://www.theocc.com/​components/​docs/​legal/​rules_​and_​bylaws/​sr_​occ_​15_​009.pdf. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-OCC-2015-009 and should be submitted on or before April 23, 2015.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[28]

Brent J. Fields,

Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  On March 13, 2015, OCC formally withdrew the proposed rule change filed as SR-OCC-2014-22, as modified by Amendment No. 1 and Amendment No. 2 thereto, the substance of which OCC has refiled as SR-OCC-2015-009.

Back to Citation

4.  “Financial Resources” means, with respect to a projected loss attributable to a particular Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group, as defined below, the sum of the margin deposits (less any excess margin a Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group may have on deposit at OCC) and deposits in lieu of margin in respect of such Clearing Members' or Clearing Member Groups' accounts, and the value of OCC's Clearing Fund, including both the Base Amount, as defined below, and the prudential margin of safety, as discussed below.

Back to Citation

5.  “Clearing Member Group” means a Clearing Member and any affiliated entities that control, are controlled by or are under common control with such Clearing Member. See OCC By-Laws, Article I, Sections 1.C.(15) and 1.M(11).

Back to Citation

6.  This proposed rule filing has also been filed as an advance notice filing (SR-OCC-2014-811).

Back to Citation

7.  The procedures described herein would be in effect until the development of a new standard Clearing Fund sizing methodology. Following such development, which will include a quantitative approach to calculating the “prudential margin of safety,” as discussed below, OCC will file a separate rule change and advance notice with the Commission that will include a description of the new methodology as well as a revised Monthly Clearing Fund Sizing Procedure.

Back to Citation

8.  On October 16, 2014, OCC filed an emergency notice with the Commission to suspend the effectiveness of the second sentence of Rule 1001(a). See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73579 (November 12, 2014), 79 FR 68747 (November 18, 2014) (SR-OCC-2014-807). On November 13, 2014, OCC filed SR-OCC-2014-21 with the Commission to delete the second sentence of Rule 1001(a), preserving the suspended effectiveness of that sentence until such time as the Commission approves or disapproves SR-OCC-2014-21. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 73685 (November 25, 2014) 79 FR 71479 (December 2, 2014) (SR-OCC-2014-21).

Back to Citation

9.  See Rule 1001(a).

Back to Citation

10.  OCC also has submitted an advance notice that would provide greater detail concerning conditions under which OCC would increase the size of the Clearing Fund intra-month. The change would permit an intra-month increase in the event that the five-day rolling average of projected draws are 150% or more of the Clearing Fund's then current size. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 72804 (August 11, 2014), 79 FR 48276 (August 15, 2014) (SR-OCC-2014-804).

Back to Citation

12.  See supra, note 8.

Back to Citation

13.  See Information Memorandum #35397, dated October 16, 2014, available on OCC's Web site, http://www.theocc.com/​clearing/​clearing-infomemos/​infomemos1.jsp. Clearing members also were informed that a prudential margin of safety of $1.8 billion would be retained until a new Clearing Fund sizing formula has been approved and implemented.

Back to Citation

14.  See Information Memorandum # 35507, dated October 31, 2014, available on OCC's Web site, http://www.theocc.com/​clearing/​clearing-infomemos/​infomemos1.jsp.

Back to Citation

15.  See OCC By-Laws, Article IX, Section 14(c).

Back to Citation

16.  See supra, note 8. OCC also submitted this proposed rule change to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Back to Citation

17.  As noted in SR-OCC-2014-21, OCC would use its intra-month resizing authority only to increase the size of the Clearing Fund where appropriate, not to decrease the size of the Clearing Fund.

Back to Citation

18.  On a daily basis, OCC computes its exposure under the idiosyncratic and minor systemic events. The greater of these two exposures is that day's “peak exposure.” To calculate the “rolling five day average” OCC computes the average of the peak exposure for each consecutive five-day period observed over the prior three-month period. To determine the Base Amount, OCC would use the largest five-day rolling average observed over the past three-months. This methodology was used to determine the Base Amount of the Clearing Fund for November 2014 and December 2014.

Back to Citation

19.  Considering only the peak exposures is a more conservative methodology that gives greater weighting to sudden increases in exposure experienced by Clearing Members, thus enhancing the responsiveness of the procedure to such sudden increases. By using a longer look-back period, the methodology would respond more slowly to recently observed decreases in peak exposures.

Back to Citation

20.  Since the minor systemic default scenario contemplates two Clearing Members' simultaneously defaulting and OCC maintains Financial Resources sufficient to cover a default by a Clearing Member or Clearing Member Group representing the greatest exposure to OCC, OCC does not use the minor systemic default scenario to determine the adequacy of the Financial Resources under the Financial Resource Monitoring and Call Procedure.

Back to Citation

21.  Rule 609 authorizes OCC to require the deposit of additional margin in any account at any time during any business day by any Clearing Member for, inter alia, the protection of OCC, other Clearing Members or the general public. Clearing Members must meet a required deposit of intra-day margin in immediately available funds at a time prescribed by OCC or within one hour of OCC's issuance of debit settlement instructions against the bank account(s) of the applicable Clearing Member(s), thereby ensuring the prompt deposit of additional Financial Resources.

Back to Citation

22.  “Capping” the intra-day margin call avoids placing a “liquidity squeeze” on the subject Clearing Member(s) based on exposures presented by a hypothetical stress test, which would have the potential for causing a default on the intra-day margin call. Back testing results determined that such calls would have been made against Clearing Members that are large, well-capitalized firms, with more than sufficient resources to satisfy the call for additional margin with the proposed limitations.

Back to Citation

23.  The Risk Committee would be notified, and could take action to address potential Financial Resource deficiencies, in the event that a Projected Draw resulted in a Margin Call Event and as a result of the 500/100 Limitation the margin call was less than the Exceedance Above Base Amount, but the Projected Draw was not so large as to result in an increase in the Clearing Fund as discussed below.

Back to Citation

24.  The back testing analysis performed assumed a single Clearing Member caused the exceedance.

Back to Citation

25.  15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

Back to Citation

27.  15 U.S.C. 78-q1(b)(3)(I).

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2015-07523 Filed 4-1-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE CODE 8011-01-P