Welcome to the Corporates, Municipals, and UITs (CMU) membership onboarding path! If you are interested in learning more about CMU services or have plans to apply for membership, you are in the right place! Please utilize this path to learn more about onboarding, the steps you can expect to complete, and the tools we'll be providing you to make sure your onboarding process is a success.

The NSCC CMU onboarding path is divided into two parts.

Welcome to the Corporates, Municipals, and UITs (CMU) membership onboarding path! If you are interested in learning more about CMU services or have plans to apply for membership, you are in the right place! Please utilize this path to learn more about onboarding, the steps you can expect to complete, and the tools we'll be providing you to make sure your onboarding process is a success.

The NSCC CMU onboarding path is divided into two parts.

Part One


Part One provides an overview of the process and will help you understand:

  • the benefits of CMU membership,

  • the "Preliminary Qualification Wizard" (what it is/what it's used for);

  • what the onboarding process entails (a high-level overview); and

  • if membership is the right choice for you.

Part One is open to the public on the world wide web. 

What does it mean to become a CMU member? What are the services such membership offers? What is required of you to become an CMU member? What are the steps involved in the onboarding process for CMU membership?

You will find the answers to these and other questions in this section of the NSCC CMU onboarding path!


Part One: Preliminary Onboarding Engagement answers these questions:

  1. What are NSCC's CMU services? What are the benefits of membership?
  2. What steps will you have to take to complete the membership onboarding process? What is the Prequalification Wizard and when should you complete it?
  3. What are the preliminary eligibility requirements for membership?
  4. What are some of the most commonly asked questions & answers about the CMU membership onboarding process?

Click the article below to learn more about CMU services and benefits.

What types of memberships does DTCC offer?

DTCC itself is a holding company and does not offer memberships directly. It does, however, offer various types of memberships through its subsidiary entities and joint venture entities, which cater to various business needs. These entities include, but are not limited to The Depository Trust Company ("DTC"), National Securities Clearing Corporation ("NSCC"), The Fixed Income Clearing Corporation ("FICC") through its Government Securities (GSD) and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBSD) divisions and, DTCC Solutions.

In order to utilize CMU Services, participants are required to be members of the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC).  Participants interested in settleing trade in Continuous Net Settlement (CNS) must also join the Depository Trust Company (DTC). DTCC is committed to serving the growing needs of all of its customers. Applicants are asked to satisfy reasonable requirements in order to ensure the financial integrity of the system.

There are two types of membership that participants can choose:

Municipal Comparison Only Member - can match muni trades in RTTM in real-time with trade information forwarded to the MSRB.

Full Settlement Member - utilizes CNS for settlement, requires DTC membership. 

After reviewing all the membership information provided for you in Part One: Preliminary Onboarding Engagement, we encourage you to contact CMU Customer Service at (888) 382-2721 with any questions between 8:30 am and 5:30pm EST, Monday through Friday. An Onboarding Specialist is ready to assist you with your application process along every step of your journey to becoming a CMU Member!


Member Benefits

NSCC Continuous Net Settlement

  • Regardless of volume, CNS nets participants’ security obligations on a daily basis to one net long and short position in each issue, minimizing security movements and associated costs.
  • Through CNS, NSCC becomes the contra-party to each trade and guarantees each transaction that has reached the point of trade guarantee under NSCC’s Rules.
  • Closing fail positions are marked-to-market daily and re-netted with new transactions, which reduces risk.
  • While CNS deliveries are made automatically using participants’ depository positions, participants can exempt certain short positions to avoid segregation violations and effectively meet other delivery needs.
  • CNS minimizes the need to deliver securities on a trade-by-trade basis to participants’ contra parties.
  • Bond interest and mandatory corporate actions are automatically debited or credited to participants' CNS accounts with open fail positions. 

DTC Settlement Services

  • The consolidated platform eliminates work for both banks and brokers since they have only one unified settlement system to support and one end-of-day settlement process to complete.
  • DTC's Settlement Service also provides:
  • Reduction of risk through a fully collateralized settlement system
  • Reduction of risk by imposing net debit caps to ensure that appropriate liquidity exists to complete settlement
  • Creation of efficiencies by utilizing Settling banks and the Fedwire system to facilitate end-of-day processing
  • Automated fail tracking
  • Links to international clearing agencies, which provide delivery versus payment or free-of-payment settlement
  • Cost-effective systems for the settlement and clearance of transactions
  • Settlement of security movements associated with institutional delivery transactions and Continuous Net Settlement (CNS) trades

NSCC’s Real-Time Trade Match (RTTM)

  • RTTM addresses the industry need for automation, interactive communications and risk mitigation in the traditionally fragmented over-the-counter debt markets. Covering the breadth of corporate, municipal, and unit investment trust fixed income instruments that customers trade, RTTM brings members closer to achieving the many benefits of straight-through processing (STP), including:
  • Reduced execution risk by automating manual post-trade processing procedures,
  • Further risk reduction through centralized trade date matching and the establishment of legally binding confirmations in real-time,
  • Reliable communications and standardized interactive messaging,
  • A cost-efficient consolidated platform that supports all highly-traded fixed income products,
  • A web-based front end allowing members to enter trade-related activity and obtain real-time status information, along with user-friendly search, query, and reporting tools,
  • Specified pool trade matching
  • Exception-based screens, allowing members to focus only on discrepancies rather than on the entire post-trade processing flow,
  • Standardized procedures across fixed income products, minimizing the number of specialized systems and personnel needed to support your operations,
  • Ability to comply with business and Municipal Securities Rule-making Board (MSRB) regulatory demand for more timely and transparent trade reporting,
  • Full alignment with business continuity plans by providing for the safe storage of trade data.

Next: Click the article below to learn more about prequalification and the onboarding process.

Before you can begin the official onboarding process there are some preliminary steps you must take. In addition to reviewing the information in Part One of the NSCC CMU membership onboarding path, all candidates for membership must complete the "Prequalification Wizard." This is a short online form designed to reduce the time it takes to determine a candidate's membership eligibility and connect them with an Onboarding Specialist. Once you have completed reviewing the information in Part One and have determined, at least preliminarily, that beginning the membership process at this time is appropriate, complete the Prequalification Wizard located on dtcc.com.

Please note: The Wizard is not an application for membership. Completing it provides DTCC with information relative to your business needs. It should take approximately 5 minutes, assuming the necessary information is quickly available to you. Once the information is submitted, a DTCC Account Administration representative will contact you.

You can learn more about the Wizard - but first we'd like to show you an overview of the Membership Process and Membership Requirements.

This section of the NSCC CMU membership onboarding path is designed to provide you with a good understanding of what you need to do to become a Member, and give you the supplementary information that will help you complete the onboarding process in the most efficient way possible. There are a few important steps in the Preliminary Onboarding Engagement phase. The next step involves completing the Prequalification Wizard. Read on to learn more about membership and completing the Wizard.

The main take-away to remember for CMU applicants is that the Wizard will distiguish if the applicant firm will be a Municipal Comparison Only Firm or a Full Settling Member Firm.


Next: Click the article below to learn more about membership requirements.

There are some basic requirements that your Onboarding Specialist will need to verify with you right away. We want you to understand these requirements now to ensure you will be able to complete the process once you begin. Even if you don't meet them at the present time, armed with this knowledge you can return here once you meet the requirements and are ready to begin the membership process. When reading the requirements listed below, think carefully if it will makes sense for you to proceed further.   Of course, you can always call if you have more questions!

General Requirements

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, procedures have been established to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each entity that opens an account. When a firm applies for membership, we request information and documents that allow us to identify the firm.

The National Securities Clearing Corporation ("NSCC") is a subsidiary of The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation ("DTCC"). NSCC is an SEC-registered clearing agency and a "self-regulatory organization" under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Regulatory Requirements

Applicants are required to obtain regulatory approval from their primary regulator to conduct the business for which the applicant is completing this application. Before applying for membership, applicants should obtain the required approval and provide the information supporting and documenting the approval.

Operational Requirements

Each applicant must have an established business history of a minimum of six months and be able to satisfactorily communicate with NSCC and to otherwise meet NSCC's operational requirements.

Capital Requirements

Each Full Settling Membership applicant nust meet minimum capital requirements as outlined in the CMU rules.  Captial requirements do not apply to Municipal Comparison Only Members.

Settling Bank Arrangements

A Full Settling Member is required to appoint a bank to act as its NSCC settling bank. The settling bank must be an NSCC approved settling bank and will be responsible for paying to NSCC on behalf of the Member any balances owed to NSCC and paying to the Member any balances owed to it by NSCC. A listing of NSCC approved U.S. based entities can be provided upon request.

Next: Click the article below to learn more about the Preliminary Qualification Wizard.

The Prequalification Wizard is designed to reduce the time it takes to determine your membership eligibility and connect you with an Onboarding Specialist. We've identified some of the commonly asked questions about the "Preliminary Qualification Wizard" and answered them here.

If you are already a member of one of DTCC's subsidiaries you do not have to complete the Wizard.  Instead, please call Membership Services at 888.382.2721.


What is the "Preliminary Qualification Wizard?"

The DTCC Prequalification Wizard is designed for clients to provide DTCC with basic information relative to their business needs so that DTCC can determine whether our products and services fit their needs.


Where can I locate the Prequalification Wizard?

The Prequalification Wizard can be located on DTCC’s website dtcc.com.


How long does it take to complete the Prequalification Wizard?

Assuming all relevant information is readily available to you, the Prequalification Wizard will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

How many steps are there in the Prequalification Wizard?

Step 1: Asks for basic information about yourself and your company (this includes full legal name of your company).

Step 2: Asks what country in which your company operates.

Step 3: Asks what memberships and services you would like for your company.

Step 4: Outlines the capital and regulatory requirements for membership.

Step 5: Reports some preliminary qualification results based on the answers you've provided.

Note: Completing the wizard begins the process of alerting DTCC that you are interested in membership and ensures an Onboarding Specialist will contact you regarding that interest. Any information you enter in the Wizard carries over to an application, if one is submitted. Please review our Information Privacy Policies & Procedures.

What happens after I complete and submit my information using the Wizard?

Once you have completed the Wizard, an Onboarding Specialist receives and reviews the information you have provided. If they determine that your firm meets the preliminary requirements for membership, they will contact you and conduct a Needs Assessment for candidates interested in membership. (You may be contacted prior to the Needs Assessment and asked to verify or provide additional information depending on the completeness of your submission - this is not to be confused with the Needs Assessment.) The results of the Needs Assesment is what determines whether or not you are eligible to begin the "Official Onboarding Process."

Next: Click the article below to view some commonly asked questions.

Beyond the requirements for membership listed in the previous article, there are many questions candidates ask when they are interested in becoming NSCC CMU Members. We've collected and answered them here to help you. Read on to learn more!


What is the CMU Membership Needs Assessment?

The CMU Membership Needs Assessment is a verbal inquiry that expands on the questions and answers candidates provide via the Prequalification Wizard. During this one-on-one dialog (initiated by an Onboarding Specialist from the business line about which a candidate expresses interest) such things are discussed as:

  • what Legal Entity suits your current business needs,
  • what Connectivity and Activation protocols most closely match your needs,
  • what other products and services DTCC can offer,

among other things.


How much does it cost to apply for CMU membership?

Nothing! DTCC does not charge any membership fee.  However, regular membership and transactional fees apply.  See the CMU rules for details.


Must legal entities gain approval from their primary regulator?

Yes. Legal Entities must have approval from their primary regulator, like FINRA, to apply for CMU membership. However, on a case-by-case basis, DTCC can explore how far along the applicant is in the regulator's approval process and make a determination.  Applicants are permitted to begin the application process prior to getting regulatory approval.


Why is CMU membership candidate's daily trading volume important?

It is used to establish their Fund Deposit Requirement for Full Settling Members.


How do you determine my initial clearing fund?

There is no clearing fund requirement for this membership.


If I am already an insurance carrier member, do I have to reapply?

Yes, CMU membership requires a full application because it is a separate and distinct membership. You may contact your relationship manager to begin the process.


How long does CMU membership application approval process take?

The CMU membership application process can take up to 3 to 6 months for Full Settling Membership to be completed and approved - once the applicant has supplied all required membership documentation - in good form. There are additional factors involved in the membership approval process and they can vary for each candidate. Additional factors include legal entity ownership information, financial and capital requirements, and legal opinion reviews.  If an applicant has a preferred target start date, DTCC will work with the applicant on a best efforts basis to achieve that start date.

The CMU application process for Municipal Comparison Only Membership is drastically shorter as there are less requirements and reviews to be undertaken.


What's Next?

You've reached the end of Part One: Preliminary Onboarding Engagement of the NSCC CMU membership onboarding path. If you haven't already, and you wish to begin the official onboarding process, please complete the Preliminary Qualification Wizard (explained in Part One of this section) and/or call 888.382.2721 to speak with an Onboarding Specialist.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a CMU member!

Part Two


Part Two provides:

  • guidance and instruction designed to assist you in completing the necessary steps in your onboarding journey.

To access Part Two you will need a designated login that your NSCC Onboarding Specialist will provide you with after you have completed a preliminary verbal questionnaire. If you are already familiar with the content in Part One but haven't yet spoken to an onboarding specialist, we recommend you do so at your earliest convenience.

The number to call is 888.382.2721.

Your onboarding specialist will ensure you know everything you need to about the process and will help ensure your onboarding experience goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible.


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