Options Information Center For Investors, Brokers Begins Operation At OCC On July 3

ChicagoJune 28, 2000

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) announced today that a new investor call center for options information begins operation at OCC's Chicago headquarters on July 3. The center, Options Industry Services, is accessible to the public by phone or e-mail and it will serve as the industry's central resource for options education and information.

"The increased interest in options is driving the need to step up educational efforts even more, so that people make well-informed, wise decisions when using the options investment tool," said Paul Stevens, President, OCC and The Options Industry Council (OIC). "In addition, a recent survey of investors conducted by Yankelovich Partners reveals that 51% of investors who don't trade options cite lack of information as the number one barrier. We believe this center will serve as a valuable resource for those investors."

Options Industry Services will be funded and operated by OCC, the central clearing organization for exchange-traded options. In addition, information available through the center is provided by The Options Industry Council (OIC), a non-profit organization supported by the nation's securities options exchanges, to provide investor education.

Options Industry Services, which is staffed with former traders and industry professionals, will not solicit securities transactions or provide investment advice. Rather, it will be purely focused on providing education and tools for learning about options. Services and materials provided by the center are free and include the following:

  • Fulfillment of requests for materials from OIC, including options videos, interactive educational software and brochures,
  • Registrations for OIC's educational seminars,
  • Answers to basic and advanced options-related inquiries about industry terms, product specifications, and risks and rewards associated with options, as well as strategy and operational questions,
  • Information and specifications on products traded on OCC's participant exchanges.

OCC's Options Industry Services will replace the 1-800-OPTIONS center, which has existed at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). On July 3, callers will automatically be connected with the new center. In addition, investors calling the OIC's 1-800-952-8665 number will be automatically connected to the new center. Options Industry Services is accessible at 1-888-OPTIONS or options@theocc.com and will be open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours to 5 p.m. on Expiration Friday.

OIC Background

The Options Industry Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at www.optionscentral.com, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on available by visiting the Web site or calling 1-800-952-8665.

OCC Background

OCC, founded in 1973, is the largest clearing organization in the world for financial derivative instruments and was the first clearing house to receive a 'AAA' credit rating from Standard & Poor's Corporation. Operating under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission, OCC is jointly owned by The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, International Securities Exchange, Pacific Exchange and Philadelphia Stock Exchange. OCC is headquartered at 440 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Ill. More information is available through its Web site at www.optionsclearing.com.

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