Close-out Amount - ISDA Provision

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2002 ISDA Master Agreement
A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual

Definition of Close-out Amount in a Nutshell
Use at your own risk, campers!

Close-out Amount” means the losses the Determining Party would incur (positive) or gains it would realise (negative) in replacing the material terms and the option rights of the parties under a Terminated Transaction, determined as of the Early Termination Date (or, if that would not be commercially reasonable, such dates following that date as would be commercially reasonable) in good faith and in a commercially reasonable manner. The Determining Party may determine Close-out Amounts for groups of Terminated Transactions as long as all Terminated Transactions are accounted for.
Unpaid Amounts and Expenses in respect of Terminated Transactions are excluded from the Close-out Amount calculation.
The Determining Party may consider any of the following (unless it thinks they aren’t available or would produce an unconscionable result):

(i) quotations for replacement transactions that factor in the Determining Party’s creditworthiness and the ISDA terms between the Determining Party and the quoting party;
(ii) third party market data; or
(iii) internal quotes or market data if used by the Determining Party in the regular course to value similar transactions.

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Definition of Close-out Amount in full

Close-out Amount means, with respect to each Terminated Transaction or each group of Terminated Transactions and a Determining Party, the amount of the losses or costs of the Determining Party that are or would be incurred under then prevailing circumstances (expressed as a positive number) or gains of the Determining Party that are or would be realised under then prevailing circumstances (expressed as a negative number) in replacing, or in providing for the Determining Party the economic equivalent of, (a) the material terms of that Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions, including the payments and deliveries by the parties under Section 2(a)(i) in respect of that Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions that would, but for the occurrence of the relevant Early Termination Date, have been required after that date (assuming satisfaction of the conditions precedent in Section 2(a)(iii)) and (b) the option rights of the parties in respect of that Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions.
Any Close-out Amount will be determined by the Determining Party (or its agent), which will act in good faith and use commercially reasonable procedures in order to produce a commercially reasonable result. The Determining Party may determine a Close-out Amount for any group of Terminated Transactions or any individual Terminated Transaction but, in the aggregate, for not less than all Terminated Transactions. Each Close-out Amount will be determined as of the Early Termination Date or, if that would not be commercially reasonable, as of the date or dates following the Early Termination Date as would be commercially reasonable.
Unpaid Amounts in respect of a Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions and legal fees and out- of-pocket expenses referred to in Section 11 are to be excluded in all determinations of Close-out Amounts.
In determining a Close-out Amount, the Determining Party may consider any relevant information, including, without limitation, one or more of the following types of information:―

(i) quotations (either firm or indicative) for replacement transactions supplied by one or more third parties that may take into account the creditworthiness of the Determining Party at the time the quotation is provided and the terms of any relevant documentation, including credit support documentation, between the Determining Party and the third party providing the quotation;
(ii) information consisting of relevant market data in the relevant market supplied by one or more third parties including, without limitation, relevant rates, prices, yields, yield curves, volatilities, spreads, correlations or other relevant market data in the relevant market; or
(iii) information of the types described in clause (i) or (ii) above from internal sources (including any of the Determining Party’s Affiliates) if that information is of the same type used by the Determining Party in the regular course of its business for the valuation of similar transactions.

The Determining Party will consider, taking into account the standards and procedures described in this definition, quotations pursuant to clause (i) above or relevant market data pursuant to clause (ii) above unless the Determining Party reasonably believes in good faith that such quotations or relevant market data are not readily available or would produce a result that would not satisfy those standards. When considering information described in clause (i), (ii) or (iii) above, the Determining Party may include costs of funding, to the extent costs of funding are not and would not be a component of the other information being utilised. Third parties supplying quotations pursuant to clause (i) above or market data pursuant to clause (ii) above may include, without limitation, dealers in the relevant markets, end-users of the relevant product, information vendors, brokers and other sources of market information.
Without duplication of amounts calculated based on information described in clause (i), (ii) or (iii) above, or other relevant information, and when it is commercially reasonable to do so, the Determining Party may in addition consider in calculating a Close-out Amount any loss or cost incurred in connection with its terminating, liquidating or re-establishing any hedge related to a Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions (or any gain resulting from any of them).
Commercially reasonable procedures used in determining a Close-out Amount may include the following:―

(1) application to relevant market data from third parties pursuant to clause (ii) above or information from internal sources pursuant to clause (iii) above of pricing or other valuation models that are, at the time of the determination of the Close-out Amount, used by the Determining Party in the regular course of its business in pricing or valuing transactions between the Determining Party and unrelated third parties that are similar to the Terminated Transaction or group of Terminated Transactions; and
(2) application of different valuation methods to Terminated Transactions or groups of Terminated Transactions depending on the type, complexity, size or number of the Terminated Transactions or group of Terminated Transactions.

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Related agreements and comparisons

Related Agreements
Click here for the text of Section Settlement Amount in the 1992 ISDA
Template:Isdadiff Settlement Amount

Resources and navigation

Resources Wikitext | Nutshell wikitext | 1992 ISDA wikitext | 2002 vs 1992 Showdown | 2006 ISDA Definitions | 2008 ISDA | JC’s ISDA code project
Navigation Preamble | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14
Events of Default: 5(a)(i) Failure to Pay or Deliver5(a)(ii) Breach of Agreement5(a)(iii) Credit Support Default5(a)(iv) Misrepresentation5(a)(v) Default Under Specified Transaction5(a)(vi) Cross Default5(a)(vii) Bankruptcy5(a)(viii) Merger without Assumption
Termination Events: 5(b)(i) Illegality5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event5(b)(iii) Tax Event5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event

Index — Click ᐅ to expand:

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Content and comparisons

A comparison between the 1992 ISDA and the 2002 ISDA can be found on the ISDA Comparison page.

On the difference between an “Early Termination Amount” and a “Close-out Amount

The 1992 ISDA features neither an Early Termination Amount or a Close-out Amount, which many would see as a regrettable oversight. The 2002 ISDA has both, which looks like rather an indulgence, until you realise that they do different things.[1]

A Close-out Amount is the termination value for a single Transaction, or a related group of Transactions that a Non-Defaulting Party or Non-Affected Party calculates while closing out an 2002 ISDA, but it is not the final, overall sum due under the ISDA Master Agreement itself. Each of the determined Close-out Amounts summed with the various Unpaid Amounts to arrive at the Early Termination Amount, which is the total net sum due under the ISDA Master Agreement at the conclusion of the close-out process. (See Section 6(e)(i) for more on that).

ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ introduced the Close-out Amount into the 2002 ISDA to correct the total trainwreck of a close-out methodology set out in the 1992 ISDA. In the “good old days”, you valued Terminated Transactions were valued according to Market Quotation or Loss and those un-intuitive and — well, flat-out nutso — “First” and “Second” Methods. There is a “Settlement Amount” concept under the 1992 ISDA, but it only really relates to Market Quotation.


From the you’ll be sorry you asked file. Have a butcher’s at the nutshell version on the right. If, having read that, you’re still not really feeling sorry or resentful, the full text (below) right might get your remorse radar pinging.

Note the prominent requirement to achieve a “reasonable” (1992 ISDA) or “commercially reasonable” (2002 ISDA) result. On what that latter lovely expression means see Barclays v Unicredit. Spoiler: it’s basically good for brokers as long as they aren’t being total dicks.

General discussion

Closing out an ISDA Master Agreement following an Event of Default

Here is the JC’s handy guide to closing out an ISDA Master Agreement. We have assumed you are closing out as a result of a Failure to Pay or Deliver under Section 5(a)(i), because — unless you have inadvertently crossed some portal, wormhole into a parallel but stupider universe — if an ISDA Master Agreement had gone toes-up, that’s almost certainly why. That, or at a pinch Bankruptcy. Don’t try telling your credit officers this, by the way: they won’t believe you — and they tend to get a bit wounded at the suggestion that their beloved NAV triggers are a waste of space.

In what follows “Close-out Amount” means, well, “Close-out Amount” (if under a 2002 ISDA) or “Loss” or “Market Quotation” amount (if under a 1992 ISDA), and “Early Termination Amount” means, for the 1992 ISDA, which neglected to give this key value a memorable name, “the amount, if any, payable in respect of an Early Termination Date and determined pursuant to Section 6(e)”.

So, to close out following a Failure to Pay or Deliver, you will need:

1. There must be a failure to pay or deliver under Section 5(a)(i)

A Failure to Pay or Deliver, by the Defaulting Party to make a payment or delivery when due on day T. This is not, yet, an Event of Default under Section 5(a)(i). But we are on the way.

2. You must give notice of the failure under Section 5(a)(i)

The Non-defaulting Party must give the Defaulting Party notice of the failure. This is not a Section 6(a) notice — calm, down, we will get to that in good time — but a Section 5(a)(i) notice of failure to pay or deliver. The sainted ISDA Master Agreement does not directly prescribe the format for this notice, but Section 12 cautions that it may not be by e-mail or electronic messaging system or (if you have a 1992 ISDA, at any rate), by fax. The proper form is to have it hand-delivered by someone prepared to swear an affidavit as to when and where they delivered it to the Defaulting Party.[2]

Since payments and deliveries are generally due at close of business on a given day, Q.E.D., a Section 5(a)(i) notice of Failure to Pay or Deliver can usually only be given after close of business on the due date.

Thanks to Section 12(a) (Notices), the Section 5(a)(i) notice will only be effective on the following Local Business Day: i.e., T+1. [3]

3. You must allow the grace period under Section 5(a)(i) to expire

At this point you have a Potential Event of Default, but not an actual one.

Once your Section 5(a)(i) notice of Failure to Pay or Deliver is effective, the Defaulting Party has a “grace period” in which it may sort itself out and make the payment or delivery in question, thereby heading off a full-blown Event of Default.

The standard grace periods are set out in Section 5(a)(i). Be careful: under a 2002 ISDA the standard is one Local Business Day. Under the 1992 ISDA the standard is three Local Business Days. But check the Schedule because in either case this is the sort of thing that counterparties adjust: 2002 ISDAs are often adjusted to conform to the 1992 ISDA standard of three LBDs, for example.

So: once you have a clear, notified Failure to Pay or Deliver, you have to wait at least one and possibly three or more Local Business Days before doing anything about it. Therefore, you are on tenterhooks until the close of business T+2 LBDs (standard 2002 ISDA), or T+4 LBDs (standard 1992 ISDA).

Let us imagine for a moment you have indeed waited the necessary time.

4. You may now send your Section 6(a) notice designating an Early Termination Date

At the expiry of the Section 5(a)(i) grace period, you finally have a fully operational Event of Default. Now Section 6(a) allows you, by not more than 20 days’ notice[4] to designate an Early Termination Date for all outstanding Transactions.

So, at some point in the next twenty days[4] outstanding Transactions will be at an end.[5] Now this is a different thing from knowing what the amounts will be, much less knowing when they will be paid: this is the date by reference to which termination amounts will be calculated.

5. Determine Close-out Amounts[6]

One must now ascertain termination values for the Terminated Transactions as of the Early Termination Date per the methodology set out in Section 6(e)(i).

Now armed with our crystalised Failure to Pay or Deliver Event of Default and with an Early Termination Date to target, we go directly to Section 6(e), noting as we fly over it, that Section 6(c) reminds us for the avoidance of doubt that even if the Event of Default which triggers the Early Termination Date evaporates in the meantime — these things happen, okay? — yon Defaulting Party’s goose is still irretrievably cooked.[7]

The trading and risk people need to come up with Close-out Amounts for all outstanding Transactions. Now note, even though you have designated an Early Termination Date not more than 20 days from your Section 6(a) notice, it may well take you a lot longer to close out your portfolio than that, and as long as you are acting in a commercially reasonable way, you can take longer. The 20 days notice period is a red herring. There is a longer essay about the meaningless of that 20 day time limit here.

Once they have done that you are ready for your Section 6(e) notice.

6. Calculate and notify

The Early Termination Date is the date on which the Transactions terminate; it is the date by reference to which you calculate their termination values, not the date by you have to have valued, much less settled outstanding amounts due as a result of their termination — that would be a logical impossibility for those not imbued with the power of foresight. Here we move onto Section 6(d), under which, as soon as is practicable after the Early Termination Date, your boffins work out all the termination values for each Transaction, tot them up to arrive at the Section 6(e) amount, and send a statement to the defaulting party, specifying the Early Termination Amount payable, the bank details, and reasonable details of calculations.

7. Pay your Early Termination Amount

Your in-house metaphysicians having calculated your Close-out Amounts,[6] and assembled all the values into an Early Termination Amount[8] the party who owes it must pay the Early Termination Amount. With ISDA’s crack drafting squad™ yen for infinite fiddlarity, this will depend on whether the Early Termination Date follows an Event of Default or an Termination Event. If the former, the Early Termination Amount is payable at once, as soon as the 6(d) statement is deemed delivered; if a Termination Event, only two Local Business Days — I know, right — after the 6(d) statement is delivered (or, where there are two Affected Parties and both are delivering each other 6(d) statements — I know, right — after both have done so).

8. Putting that all together

Here are all the stages you must go through between becoming entitled to terminate and settlement for a Failure to Pay or Deliver:


See also



  1. This is not to say it isn’t hugely over-engineered, all the same: regular readers will know that the JC would never not say that about the output of ISDA’s crack drafting squad™.
  2. Yes, it’s true: in ISDA’s alternative universe, e-mail and electronic messaging systems are different things.
  3. Spod’s note: This notice requirement is key from a cross default perspective (if you have been indelicate enough to widen the scope of your cross default to include derivatives, that is): if you don’t have it, any failure to pay under your ISDA Master Agreement, however innocuous — even an operational oversight — automatically counts as an Event of Default, and gives a different person to the right to close their ISDA Master Agreement with your Defaulting Party because of it defaulted to you, even though (a) the Defaulting Party hasn’t defaulted to them, and (b) you have decided not to take any action against the Defaulting Party yourself.
  4. 4.0 4.1 See discussion on at Section {{{{{1}}}|6(a)}} about the silliness of that time limit.
  5. By a striking oversight, not actually so named in the 1992 ISDA.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Or their equivalents under the 1992 ISDA, of course.
  7. If Credit suddenly gets executioner’s remorse and wants to let the Defaulting Party off), the Non-defaulting Party will have to expressly terminate the close-out process, preferably by written notice. There’s an argument — though it is hard to picture the time or place on God’s green earth where a {{{{{1}}}|Defaulting Party}} would make it — that cancelling an in-flight close out is no longer exclusively in the Defaulting Party’s gift, and requires the NDP’s consent. It would be an odd, self-harming kind of Defaulting Party that would run that argument unless the market was properly gyrating.
  8. Or, in the 1992 ISDA’s estimable prose, “the amount, if any, payable in respect of an Early Termination Date and determined pursuant to this Section”.