Chinese online brokerage Futu gets greenlight to clearing service in US

NEW YORK - Futu Holdings, a Hong Kong-based online brokerage, announced Monday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have granted a clearing license to its wholly-owned US subsidiary, which will diversify the company's revenue streams.


The move would further solidify Futu's foothold in the US market. (Photo: VCG)

With the clearing license and Futu's proprietary clearing system, the subsidiary, Futu Clearing Inc., will be able to provide clearing, settlement and asset custody services to customers and other introducing brokers in the United States, allowing the tech-driven online platform to capture the full cycle of client trade and maintain custody of its clients' assets.

The move would further solidify Futu's foothold in the US market, Li Hua, Futu's chairman and CEO, said in a statement on Monday. "We will also have more flexibility in terms of our product and service offerings, as well as enhanced ability to reduce trading costs for our clients."

"Going forward, we will continue to consider obtaining more licenses in order to broaden our core service offerings and expand our global presence," he added.

The fintech went public by listing its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Nasdaq on March 8. As of Monday, the company's market capitalization was valued at $1.136 billion.

Founded in 2011, the company has built a digitized brokerage platform that offers a set of investing services, including trading, clearing, settlement services, margin financing and securities lending in three major markets -- Hong Kong, Chinese mainland and the United States.

To grant a clearing license, the SEC and FINRA conduct comprehensive evaluations of an applicant's regulatory compliance, research and development capabilities, financial strength and a number of other performances to ensure that the applicant meets required standards.