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The Options Clearing Corporation Cuts Clearing Fees Again As Options Volume Soars

CHICAGO, August 10, 2006 - The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that its Board of Directors recently approved lowering clearing fees for the fourth time since April 2004.

This latest reduction, effective September 1, 2006, drops the fee for most trades by 30 percent. The cut was prompted by the stellar 2006 options volume, which is currently running 45 percent higher than during the same period last year. The greater volume has generated revenue in excess of expected budgetary needs.

OCC annually refunds all revenues in excess of operational expenses. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, OCC refunded $49.7 million to its members. OCC's cumulative refunds and discounts since 1974 total more than $435.4 million.

"Record trading volume and our cost-effective services have combined to allow us to further discount the clearing fee without compromising OCC's ability to provide world-class risk management, clearing and settlement to our members," said Michael Cahill, OCC President and Chief Operating Officer.

The new fee schedule reduces the base discounted fee—in the 1-500 contracts per trade category, where the vast majority of transactions take place—from $.05 per contract to $.035 per contract. On April 1, 2004, this base fee was reduced to $.0825 per contract from $.09 per contract, which was further cut to $.07 per contract in July 2004. The current fee took effect on July 1, 2005. The fee schedule effective September 1 will remain in effect until further action by the Board.

Contract Trade Level
(Number of contracts per trade)
Current Fee
(Per contract)
New Fee
(Per contract)
1-500 $.05 $.035
501-1000 $.04 $.028
1001-2000 $.03 $.021
Greater than 2,000 $55.00 per trade $35.00 per trade

About OCC

OCC, founded in 1973, is the world's largest derivatives clearing organization and was the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, OCC provides clearing and settlement services for the American Stock Exchange, the Boston Options Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE Futures Exchange, International Securities Exchange, OneChicago, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and Philadelphia Board of Trade. More information about OCC is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.