Our History

From humble beginnings in Victorian London, to global clearing service, this is the story of LCH

Over a century of risk management excellence

LCH has been managing risk for over 100 years. Our journey has taken us from a small commodities clearing firm working out of a City of London backstreet, to a central counterparty that spans the globe, offering clearing services to customers across five continents and multiple asset classes.

Here is a taste of our story so far:

1888 - Establishment of the London Produce Clearing House (LPCH), which offered clearing services for futures contracts in coffee, sugar and other soft commodities.

1971 - LPCH was renamed the International Commodities Clearing House.

1988 - Business was acquired by a consortium of six banks.

1992 - The London Clearing House was born, signalling the firm’s intent to broaden its clearing offering beyond commodities.

1998 - RepoClear, a clearing service for repo and bond transactions, was launched. The service enables members to more efficiently manage their euro cash liquidity as well as pool highly rated sovereign and agency general collateral trades with eligible investment-grade debt.

1999 - SwapClear, a service for clearing interest rate swaps, was launched. Today, SwapClear is open to buy-side clients, allowing end users clearing options in 21 currencies, with maturities  of up to 50 years, and non-IRS instruments such as inflation swaps.  

2001 - EquityClear, a clearing service for cash equities and cash equities equivalents, was launched. Through EquityClear, members and their clients are able to clear cash equities, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) transacted on exchanges and trading venues located throughout Europe.

2003 - Merger between LCH and Paris-based central counterparty Clearnet. The merged company - renamed LCH.Clearnet - revolutionised our service offering expanding the range of products offered for clearing.

2008 - LCH successfully resolved the $9 trillion notional interest rate swap portfolio of the defaulted clearing member Lehman Brothers. From a portfolio that comprised more than 66,000 trades, SwapClear was able to fully resolve the default within three weeks and with no loss to its other clearing members.

2012 - London Stock Exchange Group assumed a majority stake in LCH, while LCH expanded its US clearing capabilities by purchasing the International Derivatives Clearing Group. In 2012, LCH also launched CDSClear, our credit default swap clearing service for European members, and ForexClear, offering global currency markets a dedicated service for clearing NDFs and other OTC foreign exchange products. ForexClear now covers 95% of the global NDF marketplace, including industry-leading risk management for 17 emerging market currencies.

2014 – LCH launched new compression and portfolio margining tools to improve the economics of clearing for its customers, all the while growing its product offering to extend the clearing possibilities for its members.

2016 – LCH was rebranded as LCH, The Markets’ Partner.

2017 – SwapAgent Ltd is established, providing a service to help simplify the processing, margining and settlement of non-cleared derivatives