Investor's wiki

Aged Fail

Aged Fail

What Is an Aged Fail?

An aged fail is a transaction between two broker-dealers that has not been settled within 30 days of the trade date. Settlement is required for both parties to get and receive what they agreed to, making the trade complete.

Understanding an Aged Fail

In financial markets, in the event that a seller doesn't deliver stock or a buyer doesn't pay owed funds by the settlement date — which in the US is the trade date plus two days (T+2) — then the transaction is said to fail. Fails turn into aged fails when the trade still has not settled 30 days after the trade date.

Settlement periods differ by market. Stocks are T+2, while options settle T+1. Many bonds settle in two days, while government bonds settle the next day (T+1). Certificates of deposit (CDs) settle that very day, as does commercial paper. Spot foreign exchange (forex) transactions settle T+2, although in this market many retail traders roll over their position every day to stay away from settlement.

Aged fails typically happen when a security isn't delivered in light of the fact that the selling client fails to deliver the security to their broker. As a result, the broker can't deliver the security to the buying broker. This typically results in the getting firm changing its books in like manner, to account for the asset not being received.

On the off chance that the seller fails to deliver the security, it is called a short fail. On the off chance that the buyer fails to pay the funds for the security, it is called a long fail.

Parties failing to deliver cash or securities to settle a transaction in a timely fashion are subject to specific charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to cover counterparty risk. Dealers need to maintain additional capital for fails-to-deliver at least five business days old and for fails-to-receive in excess of thirty calendar days old, under SEC Rule 15c3-1, often called the uniform net capital rule.

Essentially 15c3-1 expects that brokers have the liquidity to cover a certain percentage of their total obligations, in case a portion of those transactions fail.

Illustration of Where to Find Age Fail and Failed Trades

SEC data can be utilized to monitor trades where there was a failure to deliver. The Fails-to-Deliver data gives the trade date, security identifier (CUSIP), ticker symbol, quantity of failed shares, company name, and stock price as of the previous close. The data is delivered twice per month.

The lists likewise contain a running total of failed to deliver shares.

Trade failures can likewise be monitored in other markets. DTCC, for instance, gives total US Treasury and Agency fails. The chart below shows the amount of trade fails in US Treasury securities more than a 3-month period in mid 2021.

Trade failures can have a cascading type of influence. For instance, the buyer of a security might involve those securities for another transaction. Assuming the original trade fails, the buyer doesn't have those securities to pledge to the next transaction, with the goal that transaction likewise fails.


  • A failure to settle happens on the off chance that the trade isn't settled by the settlement date.
  • An aged fail is a fail that has still not been settled 30 days after the trade date.
  • Trade failures can have a cascading type of influence, with one leading to others.