An ISDA master contract is the standard document that is regularly used to regulate over-the-counter derivatives transactions. The agreement, published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), outlines the conditions to be applied to a derivatives transaction between two parties, usually to a derivatives trader and counterparty. The master contract of the ISDA itself is the norm, but it is accompanied by a bespoke timetable and sometimes an annex to support the credit, both signed by both parties in a given transaction. Perhaps the most important aspect of the ISDA`s governing contract is that the master`s agreement and all the confirmations it contains form a single agreement. This is very important (particularly for regulated financial companies) because it allows parties to an ISDA lead contract to aggregate the transactions in progress by each of them in all transactions under way under that ISDA management contract and replace them with a single net amount bound by one party to another. The compensation, referred to in Section 2, point c), of the ISDA executive contract, allows the parties to pay the amounts payable on the same day and in the same currency. “All transactions are concluded on the basis that this master contract and all confirmations form a single agreement between the parties … and the parties would not make transactions otherwise. In 1987, ISDA established three documents: (i) a standard form control agreement for U.S. dollar interest rate swaps; (ii) a standard-master contract for multi-currency interest rate and exchange rate swaps (known as the “1987 ISDA Executive Contract”); and (iii) definitions of interest rates and currencies. The ISDA Masteragrement, published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, is the most widely used master service contract for otC derivatives transactions internationally. It is part of a documentary framework that aims to provide comprehensive and flexible documentation on OVER-the-counter derivatives. The framework consists of a master contract, a calendar, confirmations, definition brochures and credit support documentation.
Currency and interest rate markets have experienced impressive growth in recent decades. Together, they now represent billions of dollars in daily trade. The original ISDA master was created in 1985 to standardize these trades.