Post-Trade Processing in Europe

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13 July 2010


The European Central Bank (ECB) has proposed a pan-European platform, Target2-Securities (T2S), that would allow central securities depositories (CSDs) to streamline their trade settlement processes. The initiative is expected to reduce costs and processing times, but the revenue implications for CSDs and custodian banks need to be considered along with the effect on their business models.

In a new report, Post-Trade Processing in Europe, Celent looks at the possible impact of T2S on the post-trade processing space. It is expected that the revenues CSDs derive from settlement activities will be reduced substantially. The remaining areas for competition and differentiation for the CSDs are cross-border asset servicing and value-added asset servicing, which are not their traditional strengths. As a result, we will see various forms of consolidation.

The following table looks at the various parameters that could determine the success and even the survival of the various CSDs in Europe. The two CSDs best placed are Euroclear and Clearstream, due to their settlement volumes, assets in custody, and geographical reach. Another important factor would be whether the CSD has linkages with trading groups because these synergies would also help in their home markets. An important change the CSDs require post-T2S is the infrastructure to compete on a pan-European basis. So, existing linkages through a multinational network or with international trading platforms would be an advantage, because these would reduce the time to market and development costs.

Presence of Parameters to Determine Survival After T2S


in more
than one

Part of
Part of
clearing and

Likelihood of
Monte Tittoli
No Yes Yes LSE
Yes No No
Clearstream Yes Yes Yes Deutsche
Yes Yes No
Euroclear Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No
No No No BME
Yes No No
No No No No Yes No Possible
VP Denmark No No No No Yes No Likely
VPS Norway No No No Olso Bors
Yes No Possible

“Disintermediation is very likely to happen in some countries, while in others, the outcome of T2S is unclear,” says Axel Pierron, Celent Senior Vice President and coauthor of the report. “While T2S is attempting to increase the integration of the European securities market, harmonization and a level playing field can not be created solely by a new settlement infrastructure. Political will and changes in national regulation and market practices will have to be addressed as well.”

“Various assumptions have been made regarding T2S by the ECB, including the fact that all the CSDs in the EU will participate,” says Anshuman Jaswal, Celent Senior Analyst and coauthor of the report. “These assumptions and the performance of the project need to be reviewed regularly to ensure that the desired objectives are being met. The dynamic market conditions and fast-improving technology have not removed the need for T2S in the first place.”

This report looks at the developments in the field of post-trade processing, such as the Code of Conduct and T2S. It considers the issues that will arise from having a common platform for settlement and whether the private sector initiatives could be an alternative to T2S. The recent developments will also have a widespread impact on the custody market, as both CSDs and custodians vie for a share of the increasingly complex and shrinking post-trade processing pie.