Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC)


The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) is a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) that deals with the settlement and clearance of fixed income securities in the US. The FICC ensures all obligations from transactions are met, reducing risk for the parties involved. Its two main divisions cater to the Government and Mortgage-Backed Securities markets respectively.


The phonetics of “Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC)” would be:Fixed: /fɪkst/Income: /ˈɪnkʌm/Clearing: /ˈkliːrɪŋ/Corporation: /ˌkɔːpəˈreɪʃn/FICC: /fɪk/These are transcriptions using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Key Takeaways

  1. Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) offers effective and efficient risk management solutions – FICC operates as a central counterparty in the U.S. Government securities markets, providing essential risk mitigation and reporting services that help smooth out the functioning of the overall market. This ensures that the risk involved with the trading and transfer of fixed income securities is significantly reduced.
  2. FICC reduces systemic risk and enhances market integrity – By taking on the responsibility of buyer to every seller and seller to every buyer, FICC becomes a keystone that helps prevent the ripple effect of a single counterparty failure from disrupting the entire system. It simultaneously improves the integrity of the financial markets by providing transparency and safeguarding the settlement of trades.
  3. FICC Provides Liquidity – Through the General Collateral Finance Repo Service, FICC provides vital short-term liquidity for its members. This tool allows members to leverage their securities holdings in a money-market format that benefits not only individual firms but also the financial markets as a whole, thereby contributing towards the overall stability of the financial system.


The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) plays a crucial role in the stability and efficiency of the global securities market. As a central clearing house for U.S. Government securities and mortgage-backed securities, it reduces the risk of default by acting as the intermediary between buyers and sellers, ensuring that both parties fulfill their contractual obligations. This mitigates counterparty risk, as FICC guarantees the completion of transactions even if one party fails to deliver. Moreover, it improves market liquidity and operational efficiency by netting multiple transactions, reducing the amount of cash and securities required to settle trades. Hence, the FICC is fundamentally important to the smooth functioning of the fixed income market.


The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) plays a critical role in the world of finance and business, serving primarily as a financial intermediary for dealers in the U.S. government securities market. This corporation aims to reduce the risk and enhance the efficiency of these markets. It acts as a trusted common counterparty to its members in the transactions it clears, which reduces the risk associated with the possible default of a single party. In simplifying terms, every member of the FICC transacts with the corporation, not other dealers, reducing overall credit and counterparty risks.Furthermore, the FICC’s services are geared to ensure the smooth and uninterrupted operation of the vastly significant U.S. government securities market. The organization provides clearance, settlement, and a range of other services for these transactions. In addition to government securities, it also deals in mortgage-backed ones. By automating and streamlining these processes, the FICC allows for greater efficiency, stability, and integrity within the fixed-income market space, thereby fostering trust amongst market participants and helping to fuel further growth.


1. Government Securities Division (GSD): The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation’s Government Securities Division (GSD) is a key player in the U.S. government securities markets. For example, when the U.S. Treasury issues bonds, notes or Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), investment banks, mutual funds, insurance companies, etc., buy such securities in auctions, and these transactions are often cleared and settled by the GSD of the FICC. This ensures efficient handling of trades and provides a high degree of risk management service to protect the participants and the market from potential defaults.2. Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (MBSD): A real world example related to the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation is in the home loan mortgage industry. When banks and other financial institutions issue mortgage-backed securities (MBS), the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (MBSD) of FICC clears and settles the trades, hence ensuring orderly mortgage market trades. For instance, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two government-sponsored enterprises, engage in issuing and trading MBS that are typically cleared through the MBSD.3. Default Management: A third real-world example of FICC is the role it plays in managing member defaults. For instance, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, it was a big market shock. As Lehman Brothers was a significant participant in the repurchase agreement (repo) market where the trades were cleared by the GSD, the bankruptcy could have caused substantial disruption in the government securities market. However, the GSD of FICC took charge of the situation and managed to close out Lehman Brothers’ positions without causing widespread panic, thereby minimizing potential systemic risk.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC)?

The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) is an agency that centralizes all comparison, clearing, and settlement for the United States Government securities market. It exists to ensure the seamless execution and settlement of U.S. Government securities and repurchase agreement (repo) transactions.

What services does FICC provide?

FICC primarily provides comparison, netting, risk management, and settlement services. These services are designed to reduce risk and increase equity and operational efficiency in the trading of U.S. debt instruments.

Who owns and operates the FICC?

The FICC is wholly owned and operated by The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC).

How does FICC contribute to market stability?

FICC helps maintain market stability by ensuring trades in U.S. Government securities are settled correctly and on time. They do so by providing a guarantee of completion, which ensures all parties involved will follow through on their commitments.

Who can use FICC services?

Financial institutions such as broker-dealers, banks, futures commission merchants, and hedge funds can use FICC services. Other eligible entities include insurance companies and mutual funds.

How does FICC minimize risk in securities settlement?

FICC minimizes risk by netting trades, meaning it combines purchase and sale orders for securities into a single transaction. This process reduces the number of trades and minimizes the risk of a trading partner defaulting.

Can individual investors use FICC’s services?

No. FICC services are primarily designed for large financial institutions.

Is FICC regulated?

Yes, FICC is a registered clearing agency with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and as such, it’s subject to regulation and oversight by the SEC.

Related Finance Terms

  • Securities Settlement
  • Mortgage-Backed Securities Division (MBSD)
  • Government Securities Division (GSD)
  • Risk Management in Finance
  • Central Counterparty Clearing (CCP)

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More