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T2S: An Introduction
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T2S: An Introduction

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  • 1. Target 2 Securities: An IntroductionBackgroundIn the last decade, the European financial services industry has made considerableprogress in reducing costs and risk, as well as in promoting competition within theSingle Market. The payments industry in Europe has a core, borderless infrastructurefor real - time settlement in central bank money (i.e. TARGET2) provided byEurosystem that supports the banking industry in delivering pan-European paymentinstruments and infrastructures (i.e. SEPA). But due to differences both in marketpractices and in legal, regulatory and fiscal regimes, there has been less progress inintegrating national securities markets.Europe being comparable to the US, in terms of economic size, but firms in theUnited States can operate in a single, large domestic market. However, Europe’s post-trading sector is fragmented into numerous national markets leading to higher costs ofdoing so. Hence, Europe lags a long way behind the United States in terms of both thevolume of transactions and the cost of those transactions, due to lack of integration.The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) is stimulating competitionbetween trading platforms (traditional stock exchanges or new multilateral tradingfacilities), thereby forcefully addressing the gap in trading.The cost gap is particularly large for cross-border securities settlement. Al thoughthere have been successful mergers between CSDs in the past – and there may bemore in the future – it seems that this process of consolidation by merger is unlikelyto deliver an integrated market infrastructure for Europe in the near future.In order to remove the “Giovannini barriers” to achieve harmonising practices,legislation, regulation and tax, two significant measures are underway: • EMIR: The European Commission is finalising a draft proposal on market infrastructures dealing with central counterparties, clearing, derivative contracts and trade repositories (known as the European Market Infrastructure Regulation). • T2S: It will foster the required transformation in intermediation between issuers and investors by stimulating the development by financial market participants of a competitive and efficient European market.Target 2 SecuritiesUnlike Target 2, which is an initiative in Europe where cash settlement in CentralBank Money is done in a single platform, securities settlement in the region is highlyfragmented with multiple CSDs involved. T2S (Target 2 Securities) will be a singletechnical platform for core, neutral borderless securities settlement with DvP inCeBM (Central Bank Money) having multi currency dimension. The current trade lifecycle scenario in Europe looks to be highly fragmented as compared to US:Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 2. No of MI Entities Europe USInvolvedTrading 9 3Clearing 7 2Settlement and Asset 8 2ServicingCash settlement 5 1 Fig 1: Trade Lifecycle- Europe vs US (Source: ECB)T2S is not a CSD but a service offered to CSDs for settlement only that will rangefrom Custody and Asset servicing like Corporate Actions and Settlement functionslike change of Ownership among investors. Currently 30 CSDs have committedto work towards T2S for settlement in Euro and 3 Scandinavian currencies. T2Swill now be based on an integrated model by Eurosystem where a single technicalplatform will hold both Central bank cash accounts and securities accounts to settlesecurities in central bank money (shown below). Fig 2: Types of Accounts in T2S (Source: ECB)Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 3. Features in T2SThe main features of T2S can be categorised as follows: • Optimised settlement model o CSD securities o CeBM cash • RTGS combined with o Auto-collateralisation o Continuous optimization o Recycling mechanisms • Other services o Matching services o Single account repository etc.Based on the economies of scale principle, by pooling more securities settlementtogether in the same place, market participants will achieve lower transaction costsand unimpeded access to an even wider range of securities. Much of the growth willbe in cash trading and in collateral markets, which contribute greatly to liquidity butare low margin activities.T2S will provide DvP settlement in real time with auto-collateralisation andoptimisation procedures, irrespective of which CSD and national central bank (NCB)provides the respective underlying securities and central bank money accounts. Tofacilitate safe cross- CSD settlement, it will provide realignment in real time whensecurities issued in one CSD are settled in another CSD. CSDs joining T2S will thusbe able to offer their clients crossborder settlement in central bank money at the samecost as domestic services – a service that is not available today. Thus all settlements inT2S become “European domestic”.T2S will provide harmonised and commoditised delivery-versus-payment (DVP)settlement in central bank money in euro as well as other European currencies invirtually all securities circulating in Europe. Settlement in T2S will be very safebecause it will involve payment in only central bank money. The platform will behighly reliable, scalable and robust.Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 4. Stakeholders in T2SThe post T2S trading network will look like the following: Fig 3: Post T2S Trading Network (Source: Market impact of T2S by Claudio Anfossi)CSDs will represent the only gateways through which market participants can accessT2S services and it will be the CSDs that contract with the Eurosystem for T2Sservices. There will be network effect on other market participants as well involved incustody or settlement business lines:Fig 4: T2S Participants in different business lines (Source: Market impact of T2S by Claudio Anfossi)CSDs’ clients, central clearing counterparties (CCPs) and trading platforms canchoose to have a direct or technical connection to T2S. A market participant’sdecision on direct or indirect connectivity will depend, inter alia, on the willingness ofthe CSD to offer the service, the participant’s technical competence and the pricing ofsuch services by the CSDs.Direct connectivity will have the following benefits:Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 5. • Participants be able to input settlement instructions directly into T2S and supply and receive information relevant to processing and status. • Participants will operate direct memberships of multiple CSDs • CSDs to reach a wider set of international securities, counterparties and clients.However, the market participants’ legal relationship, however, will remain withthe CSD(s) in which they choose to keep their accounts, regardless of the kind ofconnectivity the participants have chosen. Fig 4: T2S Participant connection (Source: ECB)A CSD offering both direct and indirect options provides maximum flexibility forfinancial market participants, entails no significant additional cost for T2S and maywell both require and be a driver towards harmonisation.A CSD that adapts efficiently so that T2S becomes an integral part of its ITarchitecture, rather than simply adding it as another layer on top of its existingsystems, will be in the best position to offer high-quality services at the lowest pricesin the future T2S world. By fully relying on T2S and minimising the replication ofdata and systems, CSDs and their users will benefit the most from T2S. Such a routewill, of course, not be easy and will require a certain amount of initial investment byCSDs to reshape their existing systems.Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 6. Key phases in the T2S Programme PlanThere are four key phases in the project – specification, development, testing andmigration.Specification phase: July 2008 to January 2010The specification phase started in July 2008 and finished in January 2010 withthe publication of version 5.0 of the URD. This phase was devoted to drafting thetechnical documentation that will be used for programming the T2S software. Themost important documents produced in this phase were the General FunctionalSpecifications (GFS v4.0) and the General Technical Design.Development phase: February 2010 to December 2013The development phase started in early 2010 after the technical documentation wasfinalised. During this phase, the User Detailed Functional Specifications has beendrafted, the software for the T2S platform will be developed (70% complete untilnow) and tested by the 4CB and non-functional testing will get underway. Towardsthe end of the third quarter of 2013, the internal acceptance testing by the wholeEurosystem will begin. The development phase will be completed, apart from bugfixing, at the end of 2013, when the platform will be ready for user testing. Fig 4: T2S Development Phase (Source: ECB)User testing phase: January 2014 to September 2015At the start of 2014, T2S will be open for a period of multilateral testing by allexternal parties – CSDs, NCBs and banks which intend to be directly connected toT2S. The testing activities will comprise interoperability tests, community tests withbanks and business-day tests. Testing will be completed after the full migration of thelast group of CSDs, which is expected by September 2015.Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury
  • 7. Fig 4: T2S Future Stages (Source: ECB)Start of operations/migration phase: September 2014 to September2015T2S will begin operations in September 2014, when the first group of CSDs joinT2S. The migration of CSDs to T2S will take place gradually over the followingyear, in principle, in three migration waves. A comprehensive planning and reportingframework has been established to ensure that all key stakeholders can monitor theprogress of the Eurosystem against the plan and synchronise their own plans withthe T2S plan. With regard to internal project management information, the T2Sproject team reports on a monthly basis to the T2S Programme Board, and on aquarterly basis to the Governing Council. With regard to external project managementinformation, the Eurosystem will report on a monthly basis to the CSDs and non-euroarea central banks, and on a quarterly basis to the T2S Advisory Group.Coordination within markets:For a smooth adaptation to T2S, there is a crucial need for coordination betweenthe Eurosystem and CSDs/NCBs, and between the CSDs/NCBs and their marketusers and infrastructures. The T2S project plan will therefore indicate the relevantdates and milestones when CSDs/NCBs and market participant s need to be preparedfor a specific activity and/or ready to make a financial investment (so-called“synchronisation points”). The synchronisation points ensure that the Eurosystem,NCBs and CSDs are progressing at the same pace during the lifecycle of the project.The precise timing of the synchronisation point s will be discussed and agreed withthe market during the autumn of 2010.Copyright@ 2012 Prithviraj P Choudhury

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