CSDR

We are no longer in an age of brokers trading shares in a splendid baroque room in Amsterdam, under a willow tree in lower Manhattan, or in the coffee houses of London. We are no longer in an age of imposing 19th century bourgeois edifices lining Europe’s most important boulevards, underscoring the central position of finance - of stocks and bonds - for national economies as a keystone of Victorian social progress. And we are no longer in an age of outbound transfer of European thinking and law about securities finance to nearly every corner of the world – almost no matter what the political structure in place, the idea of marketable securities seems to have won the day. And it carries on, often in unlikely circumstances where the “soil” would have seemed too shallow for this “plant” to take root.

We are in an age where the price discovery of securities is being led by algorithmic computer programs. Most likely, we have been in this age for longer than we realized; certainly, it has been coming on for decades. The Computer Assisted Trading (“CAT”) software developed in Toronto is generally recognized as having been the first such electronic trading system established in a central, regulated marketplace. It was introduced in the now distant year of 1977, a full 40 years ago.

Earlier this month, Euroclear UK & Ireland (EUI) issued a consultation to participants concerning their proposals to enhance the US dollar settlement arrangements in the CREST system, and make relevant changes to CREST documentation. Thomas Murray wholeheartedly supports these proposals.

Monte Titoli completed the first Wave of migration to the ECB’s T2S platform on 31 August 2015. In doing so, Italy became the largest market to migrate to the platform to date, the ECB’s plan being to introduce one major market in each of the four Waves, beginning with Italy. Euroclear’s planned delay has put a spanner in this works, however, with uncertainty lingering over when France, Germany and Spain will now migrate to the platform.

Euroclear has announced that its Belgian, Dutch and French CSDs will not be migrating to the ECBs flagship settlement platform, T2S (Target2-Securites) on 28 March 2016 as originally planned. This is the date for Wave 2 migration to the platform, following on from Wave 1 on 22 June 2015 and what some have termed Wave 1a on 31 August.

As we looked at last week, Northern Trust mapped out its response to T2S very early on, meaning that it had everything in place for when the pan-European settlement platform went live on 22 June.

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