19 January 2018
Reporter: Jenna Lomax

S&P reaffirms OCC’s AA+ rating

Standard & Poor's (S&P) has reaffirmed OCC’s financial strength rating of “AA+/stable”.

As part of the reaffirmation, S&P expects OCC to implement all relevant financial safeguards in 2018, provided the clearinghouse receives regulatory approval.

S&P said in its rating report that OCC "enjoys large economies of scale” and stated it has the “ample capacity to absorb up to 2.5 times the largest historical trading volumes per day with the current OCC systems”.

The rating agency considers OCC's operational risk to be high, as the clearinghouse processes an average of 17.5 million contracts daily.

S&P said to reaffirm the rating in future, OCC “must meet the demands of its members and the trading community at large, which requires exceptional technology and back-office operations”.

In December last year, OCC’s securities lending volume increase by 16 percent in new loans, after overseeing 206,338 securities lending transactions in the month.

OCC received an “AA+/stable” rating from S&P in June 2013, which was then reaffirmed in 2015 and 2016.

John Davidson, president and COO of OCC, said: "OCC appreciates S&P's recognition of our exceptional technology and operations, as well as our keen focus on managing operational risk.”

“This is a product of our continuing investment in human and technology resources, plus a durable working relationship with our clearing firms and exchange partners."

Craig Donohue, executive chairman and CEO at OCC, commented: "S&P's decision is a powerful recognition of our efforts to strengthen OCC's financial safeguards framework and to promote stability and market integrity through effective and efficient clearance, settlement and risk management services.”

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