Signed by the European capital market infrastructure institutions, the Code of Conduct is the result of several months of discussions related to the prices and costs of transaction and post-transaction services between the European Commission and the trading, clearing and settlement industries. The European Commission believes that a harmonised securities market within the EU can be built and can operate in a more efficient way if clearing and settlement services were more competitive. There are many barriers which prevent or create difficulties for European capital market participants – and as a consequence, for investors – as regards the choice of clearing and settlement location. The signatories of the CofC are all members of the three most significant associations of the trading and post-trading industry: FESE the Federation of European Stock Exchanges, EACH, the European Association of Central Counterparty Clearing Houses and ECSDA the European Central Securities Depositories Association.
The provisions of the CoC only relate to equities and cover three areas:
- Price transparency,
- Access and interoperability,
- Unbundling of services and account separation.
The section of the CofC relating to price transparency is aimed at making it easier for market participants to learn and understand the fee schedules of clearing and settlement institutions which will enable their comparison. Each signatory is obliged to publish their list of services and corresponding fees on their website, including information on rebates and reductions, as well as including examples which show the fee calculation methodology (including rebates and reductions) for various types of transactions and participants.The European Commission believes that the CofC is a means of increasing competition between markets and will help investors to compare costs. The Commission expects that the next step following the publication of detailed fee schedules and explanations will be the formulation of a common pricing framework helping the comparison of fees for services offered by UE infrastructure institutions.
Access and Interoperability
In order to meet the requirements relating to mutual access of infrastructure institutions to each other’s systems, as well as interoperability between them, a special Task Force on Access and Interoperability was established within ECSDA. The Task Force will outline formal detailed principles of access and interoperability for infrastructure institutions, including central securities depositories. The Task Force also includes a representative from KDPW. The Task Force examine in detail issues of access and interoperability between the following institutions:
- Trading systems and CSDs,
- CCPs and CSDs,
- CSDs and trading systems,
- CSDs and CCPs,
- CSDs and CSDs.
Unbundling of services and account separation of clearing and settlement services
Unbundling of services and account separation of clearing and settlement services is aimed at increasing the transparency and comparability of prices of securities services in the EU. The principles of the CofC relating to this area cover:
- The account separation of depository and clearing service costs and their pricing,
- Giving participants the ability to use unbundled services without the obligation to purchase other services, for a fair price reflecting the cost of the service (eliminating cross-subsidy of services),
- Providing national regulators with information on separated costs and income from separate clearing and settlement services.
The signatories of the Code of Conduct are obliged to work closely with a special monitoring committee supervising the implementation of the Code.
Full text of the Code
Table of Fees
Table of Fees - description and examples
Fees - examples for participants
Fees - examples for issuers
Information on rebates
Information on discounts
ECSDA Conversion Table
Full text of the Access and Interoperability Guideline