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An end-user is the company or individual that eventually uses a product or service. In the case of computer software, for example, an end user would be the person who uses the software. In the case of a company, the end-user of a financial product could use it in a risk management strategy, for example, to guard against conditions that limit the company from selling its product or service.

End users also provide much needed liquidity to markets. End-users are important players in the market, as are hedge funds, institutional players and trading firms. For example, a retail company in a shopping mall sells most of its products during the holiday season. An unexpected snowstorm will slow the store's visitors, resulting in a reduction in sales. The end-user could use a weather derivative to offset a potential weather change, thus limiting losses.

End Users and the Dodd-Frank Act[edit]

The Dodd-Frank Act requires, among other things, that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), create and implement rules regarding mandatory clearing of swaps transactions. A major topic of contention has been whether end-users should be granted an exception to the Dodd-Frank requirement for mandatory clearing of swap transactions. At its July 10, 2012 open meeting, the CFTC approved a final rulemaking that implements an exception to the clearing requirement for non-financial entities and small financial institutions that use swaps to hedge or mitigate commercial risk ("commercial end-users"). [1]