Q: What is eGAINS?
A: The Electronic Give-Up Automated Invoicing System (eGAINS) is the global industry solution for automating Give-Up agreement brokerage payments across multiple exchanges and currencies.
Q: How did eGAINS come about?
A: The Futures Industry Association (FIA) spent three years helping the listed derivatives industry address inefficiencies in the give-up process. Concurrently, the FIA was working with the Futures and Options Association to put a system in place to manage give-up payments between executing and clearing brokers. The result of these efforts was a two phase plan designed to automate brokerage for the European listed derivatives markets.
In February 2007, FIA launched EGUS - an electronic system designed to increase the efficiency of the Give-Up agreement execution process, and to store brokerage rate tables in manner suitable for “straight through brokerage settlement”. In November 2008, the FIA assumed the role of an industry service provider by collaborating with the exchanges to acquire the data necessary to calculate firm brokerage. The FIA licensed eGAINS from the Clearing Corporation to automatically calculate and settle give-up brokerage.
Since 2008, eGAINS has expanded to serve six exchanges, and nearly triple the number of participating brokers globally. eGAINS has processed over one billion contracts worldwide.
Q: How does eGAINS work?
A: Given a completed give-up agreement and rate schedule in EGUS, the eGAINS system will:
Obtain give-up agreement and rate information from EGUS (frequently downloads from EGUS to eGAINS).
Receive the end-of-day give-up transaction file from the participating exchange(s).
Look up the execution agreement, account, rate, and calculate the give-up transaction fees.
Provide the participants T+1 reports and end-of-month preliminary and final reports.
Allow participants to review trade details, modify transactions, resolve discrepancies, and confirm or reject trade changes.
Complete the billing cycle. eGAINS automatically debits and credits the clearing and execution participants respectively.
Q: Who manages or administrates the eGAINS systems?
A: FIA Technology Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of FIA, is the administrator of eGAINS. Operationally, the exchanges electronically send trade data at the end of each trading day. Each day eGAINS downloads agreement and rate information from EGUS. The eGAINS application cross references the exchange trade data against EGUS agreements resulting in daily and month-end trade summaries and billing reports. At the end of the monthly billing cycle, FIA Tech facilitates pay/collects to participant accounts.
Q: What products are supported in eGAINS?
A: eGAINS supports cleared futures and options give-up transactions. Some cleared OTC derivatives on participating exchanges such as Bclear are also supported.
Q: What currencies does the eGAINS system support?
A: eGAINS currently handles nine currencies and has the capability to support any currency that brokerage is settled in on its participating exchanges.
Q: How does eGAINS differ from other give-up processing systems?
A: eGAINS independently operates an industry wide platform for settlement of give-up brokerage globally.
Q: Who is eligible to be an eGAINS participant?
A: Any party that pays or collects Give-Up brokerage on eGAINS exchanges is eligible to participate.
Q: What are the costs to participate in eGAINS?
A: Both clearing and executing participants pay 0.0125 USD per contract settled up to a cap of 250,000 USD.
Q: What paperwork or approval requirements / documents are needed to become an eGAINS participant?
A: Prospective firms should complete the eGAINS on-boarding kit to begin testing. Firms must complete the processing, exchange data usage and banking agreements prior to joining the system.
Q: How much time, does the average firm take to complete all paperwork, onboard, and train in QA before moving to production and going to banking?
A: On average, it takes firms 90 days to move into the production environment.
Q: If my customer chooses to pay execution fees through eGAINS to the executing broker, must he complete an eGAINS Processing Agreement with FIA Tech?
A: Yes. Customers of clearing firms wishing to automate payments through eGAINS (to the executing broker) must be an eGAINS participant and file the eGAINS Processing Agreement with FIA Tech. Furthermore the customer must provide their bank account information in order for FIA Tech to process the automated payment.
Q: I have EGUS electronic and legacy (pdf) agreements along with electronic and pdf rate schedules, will EGUS communicate with eGAINS or do I need to reenter my agreement and rate information into eGAINS?
A: eGAINS continuously gathers electronic rate information from EGUS from 3:00 a.m. EDT to 6:00 p.m. EDT. Rate schedule that exist in PDF format only, will NOT transfer to eGAINS.
Q: How do I change the attributes of an agreement that I see in eGAINS?
A: The recommended approach is to version or amend agreements directly in EGUS. An executed EGUS agreement will feed into eGAINS hourly. However, changes can be made in eGAINS. The EGUS to eGAINS upload will overwrite any eGAINS updates. To avoid losing edits, always use EGUS to modify agreement details.
Q: Can I add an agreement directly in eGAINS?
A: Yes. However, eGAINS agreement details must be mutually exclusive from existing EGUS agreement information
Q: How will I be able to track my EGUS agreement in eGAINS?
A: The EGUS agreement ID appears in eGAINS and is viewable throughout the system.
Q: How do I identify EGUS generated agreements vs. eGAINS generated agreements?
A: EGUS agreements can be identified by an EGUS group ID number in eGAINS. In addition, any trade matched to an agreement created in eGAINS will have its corresponding agreement id appear in red on the trade review screen. Additional information can be found on theeGAINS Documentation page.
Q: What exchange/product codes will be used in eGAINS?
A: eGAINS will use the same product codes that are published by the exchanges.
Q: How does eGAINS match rates on my trades?
A: For more information on the matching process, please read the eGAINS overview
Q: Can you override the brokerage amount or rate schedule?
A: Firms can override the brokerage amount on a trade by modifying the brokerage amount directly on the trade review screen. Rate schedules can be modified in eGAINS, thereby overriding the EGUS rates.
Q: How do I view my daily give-up trade activity?
A: Firms will be able to view All end of trade day reports (available T+1) as well as month-end and end-of-cycle reports (preliminary and final) will be available for online viewing and downloading (text files).
Q: Are output file layouts available?
A: Layouts are available on the eGAINS Documentation page
Q: Are reversal transactions resulting from give-ups that were cleared in error charged fees?
A: Reversal transactions are give-up transactions cleared in error and corrected the same day. In these cases, both the transaction in error and the reversal are not charged fees.
Q: What time will the eGAINS nightly cycle run?
A: The eGAINS nightly cycle run occurs at 10:00 pm EST.
Q: What is the schedule for processing month-end firm debits and credits?
A: FIA Tech publishes the eGAINS Processing Schedule
Q: Does eGAINS provide a reconciliation tool for firm’s to match-off their book versus the rates charged via eGAINS?
A: Yes, eRECS is currently available at no cost to eGAINS users.
Q: What happens to my eGAINS trades that do not link to an EGUS agreement?
A: Trades not linked will appear on the daily and monthly trade report as unlinked and available in eGAINS on the Trade Inquiry Update query screen. No brokerage will be calculated and these trades will be purged from eGAINS after the scheduled settlement date.
Q: How long does eGAINS store trade data?
A: eGAINS trades are stored online until the end of the month banking cycle. For historical data, firms can refer back to their final eGAINS Reports on the FIA Tech reports website.
Q: What is a “calculate only” agreement?
A: These are direct bill EGUS agreements. Calculate only agreements appear on reports but do not settle in eGAINS.
Q: What happens if I need to dispute an eGAINS payment?
A: Carry Brokers can choose to reject payments before the carry broker lock. Executing brokers can elect to reject payments before the executing broker lock. Please refer to the eGAINS processing schedule.