Options Clearing Corporation Definition

An equity derivatives clearing organization, founded in 1973. The OCC acts as guarantor to options contracts by acting as a counter-party to options transactions. The OCC is under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Under the SEC jurisdiction, the OCC clears, or matches, transactions for put and call options on common stocks and other equity issues, such as stock indexes, foreign currencies, interest rate composites, and single-stock futures. As a registered Derivatives Clearing Organi-zation (DCO) under the CFTC’s jurisdic- tion, the OCC offers clearing and settlement services for transactions in futures and options on futures. The OCC is equally owned by the American Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the International Securities Exchange, the Pacific Exchange, and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. The clearing members of the OCC serve both professional traders and public customers and they comprise approximately 140 of the largest U.S. broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, and non-U.S. securities firms.
Webster's New World Finance