Everything you need to know about clearing your equities trades at EquityClear Ltd
Despite the inevitable variation that exists in transaction processes and procedures at each of our trading platform partners, LCH has developed a single harmonious trade workflow to seamlessly guide our member’s trades into EquityClear and through to settlement in the most efficient manner possible.
Clearing at our central counterparty operates through the EquityClear Clearing Platform. Registration of matched transactions that are presented to LCH occurs intraday on a real time basis.
The EquityClear Clearing Platform is open for the registration of trades between 7:00 hrs and 18.30London time.
On receipt and confirmation of eligible transactions into the EquityClear Clearing Platform, trades are governed under the rules of the LCH Ltd rulebook.
Initial margin rate levels are reviewed periodically by LCH to reflect inherent market volatility. For equities with adequate historic time series, the most recent 252 closing prices are used to determine the price volatility. If there is insufficient price history then a flat rate is applied. These rates are usually aligned with the sector volatility and are updated on a quarterly basis.
Members of EquityClear are eligible to clear products subject to approval.
On occasion, sometimes a trade is made or matched between two parties on a trade platform - such as an exchange, MTF or OTC matching service - and each party chooses a different central counterparty (CCP) to clear their trade.
In such circumstances, a balance contract automatically arises between the two CCPs on the same terms to ensure that each party retains a balanced book. The two CCPs are therefore said to ‘interoperate' in managing the risk and settlement obligations arising between them.
The rights and obligations between interoperating CCPs are governed by a ‘Master Clearing Link Agreement' and ‘inter-CCP procedures'.
Each CCP faces the risk that a CCP with which it interoperates goes into default. Each CCP is required to apply the same daily risk management methodology it applies to its interoperable CCP positions as it does for its member positions. However CCPs do not contribute to each other's default funds.
Therefore interoperating CCPs call margin from each other on a daily basis (end-of-day and intraday where necessary). CCPs are required to fund these calls by taking specific additional collateral from their members.
LCH collects the additional collateral required by applying a multiplier to the end-of-day initial margin. The multiplier is recalculated each day based on the actual positions held against each interoperating CCP and is available in the ERA parameter files on the LCH website.
Where there is a shortfall between the additional collateral collected and the actual calls made by the interoperating CCPs then a further call is made on members in the morning, again on a pro rata basis to the previous end-of-day initial margin. Where intra-day calls are made by an interoperating CCP then further additional intra-day calls may be required on members.
If a CCP defaults, the collateral provided by its members to meet inter-CCP calls is at risk, as required to cover losses arising from the close out of the open positions by the non-defaulting CCPs.
Each CCP holds collateral to cover inter-CCP risk at Clearstream Luxembourg and meets calls against it from the other CCPs through pledge arrangements.
A CCP can treat another CCP as a defaulter in a limited but appropriate range of circumstances (including, most importantly, insolvency) and manage the defaulting CCP's open balance contract positions with it in accordance with its own default rules.
As interoperating CCPs do not contribute to the LCH default fund, the members' mutualised risk in the default fund is reached sooner than for a member default.
Each CCP retains the ability under its own published rules to reject trades which do not meet its eligibility criteria. Therefore, where either CCP rejects a trade, each member leg of the transaction and the corresponding balance contract between the parties falls away to ensure that each CCP retains a balanced position.
Each CCP can suspend its obligation to continue clearing new trades and becoming party to new balance contracts with another CCP in a defined range of emergency and other situations so as to manage its on going risk exposure.