Towards a global clearing system
Calls from securities traders and investors for a more closely integrated system of clearing and settlement in the international securities market are growing louder and more impatient by the day. There were some signs of progress last year in Europe when Euroclear and Sicovam announced their definitive merger agreement and London Clearing House (LCH) and Clearnet said they planned to consolidate their activities. Yet progress in European consolidation has been slow. And even if it gathers momentum, questions remain on how to connect clearing and settlement systems globally.
A conference took place in London from January 31 to February 2 to discuss this vision of a joined-up global settlement infrastructure and assess progress in regional consolidation. The event was co-sponsored by 10 major clearing organizations from the Americas, Europe and Asia. "Just getting these organizations to sit at the same table is a considerable achievement in itself, and the open sharing of knowledge and experience is a great step forward," says David Hardy, chief executive of LCH and the conference's co-chair.