ISDA Primary Membership is designed for international and regional banks, insurance companies, diversified financial firms, and energy and commodities firms. It currently includes over 200 large global institutions that deal in derivatives.
Every investment, merchant or commercial bank or other corporation, partnership or other business organization that, directly or through an affiliate, as part of its business (whether for its own account or as agent), deals in derivatives shall be eligible for election to membership in the Association as a Primary member, provided that no person or entity participates in derivatives transactions solely for the purpose of risk hedging or asset or liability management.
A Member Driven Organization and Global Network
Through its global network of committees, members and industry experts from around the world collaborate to reach consensus on important industry issues, develop best practices and drive standardization to make the global derivatives markets safer and more efficient.
ISDA provides market participants a forum for discussing best practices and developing legislative and regulatory policies and positions. It offers members the opportunity to help shape the global policy and regulatory agenda.
Advocacy and Voice of the Market
ISDA engages continuously with a broad range of regulators and policy-makers on a global level to strengthen and grow the derivatives industry. Through fact-based advocacy, members advance the understanding and treatment of derivatives as a risk management tool.
Industry Standard Documentation
- Early knowledge of industry changes and the opportunity to influence those changes are prime benefits of membership.
- The source for global industry standards in documentation, ISDA has been enhancing the safety and efficiency of the global derivatives market for over 30 years. ISDA’s pioneering work in developing the ISDA Master Agreement and a wide range of related documentation materials, and in achieving certainty in close-out netting enforceability through their netting and collateral opinions, has helped to significantly reduce credit and legal risk.
- Members enjoy reduced rates for publications, a complimentary Complete Documentation Package in electronic form, and copies of all newly released publications.
- The Online Library of ISDA Documentation is available exclusively to ISDA members by subscription. It is the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to access all key documents published by the Association.
- OL Plus enables swap dealers that are current ISDA Online Library subscribers to access the ISDA Definitions booklets and other ISDA documentation and to send them to clients as part of their compliance with CFTC Regulation 23.431(a)(2) requirements.
- ISDA Members benefit from complimentary access to the ISDA Clause Library, a tool that sets out standard drafting options for frequently negotiated provisions within the ISDA Master Agreement, as well as the most common variants of these provisions.
ISDA Netting, Collateral and Clearing Opinions
- Only ISDA members are eligible to receive the Association’s legal opinions on the enforceability of the netting provisions of the ISDA Master Agreements. The netting opinions address the enforceability of the termination, bilateral closeout netting and multibranch netting provisions of the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement and 2002 ISDA Master Agreement. ISDA has published netting opinions for nearly 70 jurisdictions. They allow institutions to determine whether these netting provisions effectively reduce credit risk and whether they are able to exchange regulatory margin on a net basis and reduce capital requirements in many jurisdictions.
- ISDA provides members with legal opinions on the ISDA Credit Support Documents from over 50 different jurisdictions. These collateral opinions help members to ensure the validity and enforceability of collateral arrangements entered in accordance with the ISDA Credit Support Documents. In providing credit support for transactions under an ISDA Master Agreement, these documents facilitate the due diligence required for compliance with margin regulations and recognition of the benefits of collateral for capital purposes.
- ISDA has published over 45 clearing member and client reliance opinions with regards to the ISDA/FIA Client Cleared OTC Derivatives Addendum when used in conjunction with an ISDA Master Agreement. Additional opinions have been commissioned. The opinions address the enforceability of the close-out netting, setoff and default provisions of the ISDA/FIA Client Cleared OTC Derivatives Addendum from the perspective of the clearing member and client, respectively.
- In addition, ISDA and FIA jointly commission and publish opinions addressing: (i) the enforceability of a US registered futures commission merchant’s (FCM’s) close-out and netting rights when facing its customers in various jurisdictions under the FIA-ISDA Cleared Derivatives Addendum together with an underlying futures and options agreement; and (ii) the ability of customers to net against their respective FCMs when using the FIA-ISDA Cleared Derivatives Addendum, and against the three CCPs supporting the FCM model of clearing (CME, ICE and LCH). Over 20 of such opinions have been published, and additional opinions have been commissioned.
- ISDA has published clearing related opinions to assist ISDA members in applying the risk weightings under CRR Article 305. In order to apply reduced risk weightings, the client of a clearing member must have an independent, written and reasoned legal opinion to the effect that it would bear ‘no losses’ on account of the insolvency of its clearing member or any of the clearing member’s clients under the laws of the jurisdiction of various related entities. The Article 305(2)(c) opinions therefore assist members in applying the risk weightings under Article 305, but are only one of several conditions that must be satisfied before an institution may apply the risk weights permitted.
- ISDA continues to expand its opinions to include more jurisdictions, counterparty types and other areas such as electronic contracts. The opinions are made available, along with regular updates, only to ISDA members.
Maintain a reputation in the industry as sophisticated, risk sensitive and fully engaged with current issues.
Conferences and Other Industry Events
- The ISDA Annual General Meeting (AGM), the preeminent event in the derivatives and risk management industry, is only open to members.
- Member firms are the preferred speakers at ISDA conferences, events and webinars.
- Reduced member rates on conference registrations, as well as exclusive exhibit, sponsor and networking opportunities.
- Member-only local meetings, conference calls and webinars are held throughout the year to inform participants about current industry topics.
Resources and Access to Information
- Access to dedicated staff in product areas, regulation, legal and operations. These contacts are available to discuss current market topics and assist with navigating the full extent of ISDA resources.
- Regular updates on policy papers, response letters, market survey data and communications on key business issues that ISDA and its consultants generate.
Primary Members fall into three sub-categories of membership: Global, International, and Regional. The distinction is made solely for dues assessment and does not affect a Primary Member’s privileges.
For institutions with substantial swaps and derivatives business conducted across most or all major financial centers around the world.
For institutions that conduct swaps and derivatives business across at least two regions.
For institutions that conduct business primarily within their own country and/or region.
Any applicant seeking election to any category of membership in the Association should make a written application. The ISDA Board of Directors elects the members of the Association.
For more information about joining ISDA and the annual dues, please contact the relevant office listed below.