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CSD Regulation: Migration to T + 2

On 7 March 2012, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (CSDs). The Regulation introduces an obligation of dematerialisation for most securities, harmonised settlement periods for most transactions in such securities, settlement discipline measures and common rules for CSDs.

The settlement period will be harmonised and set at a maximum of two days after the trading day for the securities traded on stock exchanges or other regulated markets (currently two to three days are necessary for most securities transactions in Europe).

It is expected that markets within the scope of the CSDR text, will migrate from T+3 to T+2 with effect from Monday 6 October 2014.

The T2S Harmonisation Steering Group has published a statement of proposals to the competent authorities for possible further action. These proposals can be found here.

Scope

OTC transactions

The CSD Regulation states, in Article 5(2), that the migration should not apply to transactions that are privately negotiated and executed on a trading venue, or transactions that are executed bilaterally but are reported to a trading venue.

The ‘ICMA market’ refers to transactions in international securities, intended to be traded on an international cross border basis through an International central securities depository, which are often negotiated bilaterally and may be neither executed nor reported to a trading venue; it follows that these transactions will be out of scope for the CSDR.

To allow for orderly trading of all fixed income securities traded under ICMA rules, ICMA will also change the standard settlement cycle set out in the ICMA Rules and Recommendations from T+3 to T+2 unless otherwise agreed; it is expected that agreement to a different settlement cycle will be recorded in writing at the time of trade.

Security Financing Transactions

Security financing transactions such as repurchase agreements will also migrate from the standard trade date of two business days (“T+2”) to standard trade day plus one day (“T+1”), unless specified otherwise.

The practical effect of the migration to T+2 for cash transactions for international securities and to T+1 for repo transactions is illustrated here.

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