The term aged fail refers to a transaction between two brokers that remains open 30 days or more after the settlement date. Aged fails can occur when a party that agreed to sell securities does not deliver them to their broker.
When a broker fails to deliver securities owed another broker in 30 days or fewer, an aged fail is said to occur. Brokers are constantly exchanging assets as their clients buy and sell securities. When a client that has agreed to deliver securities does not provide them to the sending broker, they cannot be delivered to the receiving broker. When this happens, the following occurs:
- Sending Party: when a trader fails to deliver the securities necessary to settle a position in a timely manner, they are subject to fines as outlined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Receiving Party: since the securities were never delivered to the receiving broker, their capital position must be adjusted to reflect the lack of the asset.