A clearing house acts as an intermediary between a buyer and seller and seeks to ensure that the process from trade inception to settlement is smooth. Its main role is to make certain that the buyer and seller honor their contract obligations. Responsibilities include settling trading accounts, clearing trades, collecting and maintaining margin monies, regulating delivery of the bought/sold instrument, and reporting trading data. Clearing houses act as third parties to all futures and options contracts, as buyers to every clearing member seller, and as sellers to every clearing member buyer.
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