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Clearing and settlement in Europe: Slow but sure

Clearing and settlement in Europe is a complex and fragmented environment. But it is clear from the panel of experts gathered by Global Investor that progress is being made to break down the barriers to the creation of an efficient, streamlined process and a level playing field. Representatives from Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Citi, SEB and Equiduct met at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Paris to discuss what progress has been made and what challenges lie ahead.

This article appears courtesy of Global Investor.

James Norris, Global Investor (chair): What progress since the Giovannini Group declaration? How far has the European Central Securities Depositories Association moved to reach its goal of smooth regional clearing and settlement structures?

Reto Faber, Citi Financial Institutions Group: It has been slow progress, but that's not necessarily a criticism. It's evidently a complex environment to work with; many interested parties and different interests represented; many regulatory, tax, legal and other issues that need to be addressed. There has been tangible progress on the private sector barriers, and there are some interesting proposals out on corporate actions on Swift communication protocols. On the public sector barriers, there seems to be work in progress, there is a proposal out from the European Commission's Legal Certainty Group and Fiscal Compliance Group, but I think at this point the key issue is implementation.

Pierre Willems, BNP Paribas Securities Services: We have to acknowledge that the pace of change in our industry cannot be very fast, but I think we have seen tangible progress on the barriers belonging to the private domain. There is a very significant involvement of all players working to dismantle those barriers, demonstrating that, globally-speaking, the industry is not defending the status quo.

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