WHAT IS 'Deal Slip'

A deal slip is a record of the details of a foreign exchange transaction and is a primary way for forex brokers to maintain accurate records. Depending on the regulations in the jurisdiction where the transaction is recorded, each deal slip (also known as a “deal ticket”) must be retained for a specific period. While deal slips are used in foreign currency trading, the term also applies to trading activity in other financial markets including stocks, bonds and options.


Deal slips essentially function as “receipts” for trades, providing proof that a transaction was executed at a specific price. Each bears an individual serial number and includes information such as the date and time of the transaction, the price of the trade, the transaction type (long or short) and the settlement date. In addition, the deal slip identifies the parties involved in the trade.

Although deal slips have been used long before electronic trading became common, some are still printed on paper although many trading firms now record and store this information in digital form.

How Deal Slips are Used

Once a trade has been executed, the deal slip provides a record that can be used for maintaining internal accounting reports, classifying trades for auditing and tax purposes, and categorizing transactions for analysis of trading patterns.

After representatives from a firm’s trading desk complete a deal slip, it is usually forwarded to the organization’s back office so that the trade can be confirmed with counterparties and then closed by the settlement date.

Deal slips are an essential control for minimizing errors and auditing a firm’s records — giving all parties more confidence that markets are functioning properly.

The misuse of deal slips can even reveal fraudulent activity. For example, in 2009 The Wall Street Journal reported that disgraced investment advisor Bernie Madoff had asked assistants to generate falsified trading tickets. Researching past prices for specific securities, these assistants used that data to create documents for trades that had never been executed but aligned with Madoff’s claims for his steady annual returns.

In another case, British securities broker Jonathan Bunn was issued a lifetime ban by the country’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2010 for fraudulent trading that cost his firm, Lewis Charles Securities, more than 2.6 million British pounds. Investigators discovered that Bunn had falsified deal slips that resulted in his firm holding an unmatched short position of more than 6.9 million shares of HSBC Holdings, leaving the firm vulnerable to high losses.

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