The European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA) was established in 1997 in Madrid as a forum of exchange of ideas and common initiatives. President and CEO of the National Depository for Securities Iwona Sroka is a member of the ESCDA Board of Directors. ESCDA has established six working groups; currently, three working groups are in operation and representatives of the National Depository are actively involved in their work. The Association includes 42 representatives of European CSDs from 37 countries.
• Public Policy Working Group (WG 2) chaired by Paul Symons (Euroclear);
• Working Group on settlement and related processes (WG3) chaired by Robert Fair (Euroclear);
• Working Group on harmonisation (WG 5) chaired by Mathias Papenfuss (Clearstream).
ECSDA Public Policy Working Group (WG2)
The ECSDA Public Policy Working Group analyses and responds to regulatory and legal developments as they affect (I)CSDs across Europe. It provides advice to ECSDA members through the ECSDA Board of Directors on initiatives and legal proposals concerning developments on the capital market.
The below initiatives in particular have been actively monitored by WG2:
- EU legislation affecting (I)CSDs, including the Settlement Finality Directive, UCITS legislation;
- the development of the ESCB/CESR Recommendations for SSSs (and the CPSS/IOSCO recommendations at the international level);
- the removal of the Legal Barriers identified in the Giovannini Reports of 2001 and 2003;
- the follow-up of the Code of Conduct commitments, including developing a conversion table to facilitate price comparability across CSDs.
The main function of the group is to develop a common position of ECSDA representatives on issues of public financial and regulatory policy. WG2 monitors and issues opinions on initiatives concerning depository and settlement services on European Union level, including in particular Target2Securities, work on the draft Securities Law Harmonisation Directive, and ESBC/CESR Recommendations for CSDs. In addition, the group’s representatives work on global initiatives including the draft UNIDROIT Convention, as well as IOSCO, BIS, OECD and IMF reports.
On 27 June 2011, the National Depository hosted a visit of ECSDA Board of Directors representatives to Warsaw. The goal of the meeting was to analyse current legislative drafts, including the most controversial areas of draft regulations, and to present an analysis of their impact on the capital market infrastructure in Europe. The Warsaw meeting was also an opportunity to develop rules of close co-operation in further consultations concerning those regulations. In 2012, WG2 continued its work on SLD and CSD Legislation.
WG3 works on issues concerning operational relations between CSDs. WG3 focuses on cross-border securities clearing and settlement. WG3 representatives were actively involved in the drafting of the Code of Conduct Access & Interoperability Guideline. In February 2002, WG3 prepared a report on models of cross-border DvP and FOP clearing and settlement. After the European Central Bank initiated work on the payment system TARGET2 in 2002 and a general description of functionalities in 2004, ECSDA decided that WG3’s 2002 report should also refer to the new solutions of the system. It was concluded that the report contained descriptions of theoretical solutions which did not exist on any European market. WG3 was re-established in August 2004 in order to update the report. The new report Cross-border Clearing and Settlement through CSD links was published in May 2006.
In late 2004, the European Securities Forum (ESF), which groups nearly 20 largest international banks active on the European securities markets, approached ECSDA with a proposal of developing common European matching standards. The new standards developed jointly by WG3 and ESF were described in the paper Proposals to harmonise and standardise pre-settlement date matching processes throughout Europe. KDPW is working to implement the ESF-ECSDA matching standards in consultation with market participants and expects to complete the implementation in Q1 2012.
WG3 also worked on harmonising the rules of mutual access to other depository and settlement systems as well as interoperability rules. This work gained special importance as a result of the provisions of the European Code of Conduct signed in November 2006.
In 2010-2011, WG3 focused mainly on harmonisation of settlement cycles of cash market instruments across the EU. In 2012, ECSDA WG3 completed its review of 2012 Statistical Exercise on Matching and Settlement Efficiency reports concerning the matching of settlement instructions on the basis of data of settlement cycles, the number of instructions matched on day S-1, and the number of suspended transactions.
The objective of ECSDA's WG5 is to harmonise CSD procedures. Since 2007, WG5 has focused on standardisation of corporate actions in order to eliminate the third Giovannini Barrier.
In this work, the group has prepared corporate actions processing reports containing market standards of corporate actions processing including mandatory distributions and market claims. The standards developed by WG5 were incorporated into the work of the Corporate Actions Joint Working Group (CAJWG), which produced European corporate actions processing standards, Markets Standards for Corporate Actions Processing, published by CAJWG in 2009.
Since 2008, the work of WG5 mainly includes the participation of WG5 representatives in initiatives of CAJWG and the Joint Working Group on General Meetings (JWGGM), which is responsible for developing Market Standards on General Meetings. WG5 also monitors market developments which could impact existing market standards, in particular in relation to safekeeping and asset servicing. In 2010, the final version of market standards on general meetings was drafted by JWGGM with the participation of ESCDA WG5 representatives.