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CHICAGO (April 19, 2011) Standard & Poor's announced today that it has revised its outlook on OCC and other U.S. clearinghouses following yesterday's revision on the U.S. sovereign debt outlook to negative. It has not downgraded OCC's counterparty credit rating, and that rating remains 'AAA', as affirmed by S&P today.

OCC's financial strength remains solid as nothing has changed with respect to its strong and committed membership base, state-of-the-art comprehensive financial safeguards and consistent record-setting business performance. Last month OCC's 'AAA' rating was renewed by S&P, with S&P stating "the stable outlook incorporates the substantial financial safeguards that protect OCC from counterparty risks even during times of significant market volatility." Today, S&P has decided to change its ratings outlook for OCC, FICC, NSCC and DTC from "stable" to "negative" following its revision to negative of the outlook on the long-term sovereign credit rating of the United States. It also took similar action on five big U.S. insurance companies. In its press release addressing the U.S. clearinghouses, S&P said "the sovereign rating on the U.S. constrains our ratings on these companies because their clearing business is concentrated in the domestic market. In addition, given their critical role supporting the infrastructures of the U.S. financial system, these entities are exposed to the major market participants and correlated with the economic stability of their home market, all of which, we believe, are components of sovereign risk."

About OCC

OCC is the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization. Founded in 1973, OCC operates under the jurisdiction of both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a Registered Clearing Agency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a Derivatives Clearing Organization. OCC now provides central counterparty (CCP) clearing and settlement services to 15 exchanges and trading platforms for options, financial and commodity futures, security futures and securities lending transactions. In 1993, OCC became the first clearinghouse to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation, and has continued to receive that high rating every year as a result of its risk management standards. More information about OCC is available at