OptionsHouse today announced it is going to take its futures offering to the next level by becoming a non-clearing futures commission merchant (FCM) regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA). Futures trading is currently offered at OptionsHouse but as an introducing broker for GAIN Capital Group.
From the press release, the benefits of becoming an FCM are as follows:
Futures trading is currently available at OptionsHouse, but by establishing its own FCM, the company will be able to further enhance the futures trading experience for its customers. Not only will the time and effort required to open a futures account be significantly reduced, additional cash management and trading strategies will be available. Customers will be able to trade electronically and access licensed OptionsHouse professionals at a full-service desk, 24 hours a day, six days a week.
The current minimum to open a futures account with OptionsHouse is $10,000. Whether that changes or not remains to be seen.
Another interesting question is what will happen to the current futures commissions structure? While rates have not formally been announced yet, we would expect them to follow OptionsHouse’s value based approach.
Timeline wise, the launch is pegged at Q2, 2016 with mobile trading support targeted for Q3, 2016.