Futures processing 81
account, and the broker at the clearing house is the party the clear-
ing house deals with, irrespective of how or when the client and bro-
ker settle the obligations.
The processing of futures contracts is really about the VM and the
initial margin requirements plus the ability to successfully reconcile
the open positions with the clearing house, broker and client.
Part of that process is managing the posting and allocation of
trades, closeouts and also deliveries, should they occur as a result of
tender or assignment.
Financial futures and commodity futures have not only various
similarities but also many differences. As a result, good-quality static
data on margin rates, deliverable underlyings, notice days, last trad-
ing day and of course the tick size and value are all important to the
The delivery process for physical and cash-settled products are
also very different, and the deadlines and responsibilities are impor-
tant to understand. The clearing member is liable to the clearing
house for the settlement of contracts and if they are operating for a
client it is vital to ensure that they are aware of the disciplines asso-
ciated with settlement and delivery.
Futures contracts are legally binding obligations on both the buyer
and the seller, so efficient position management is crucial if unwanted
deliveries, and therefore cost, are to be avoided.