Rouble still held back by post-trade issues
In early May, Icap hosted the fifth International Rouble Settlement Forum at its London headquarters. The meeting was chaired once again by Darryl Hooker, global emerging market manager at Icap Electronic Broking. Hooker has played a key role in bringing together a diverse range of market participants to try to drag the rouble market into the 21st century and no doubt he will have been pleased to see the forum so well attended; for the first time, representatives from CLS, Swift and the Russian central bank were all brought together in one room.
Big problems still exist in rouble settlement, but some progress has been made. The Banking Electronic Speedy Payment System (Besp) is now up and running and starting to attract wider membership. But this has not yet replaced the older IRS settlement system, which has five time periods for payments to be made and received.
The result is that foreign banks have had to split their liquidity to ensure that they do not go overdrawn on their nostros, a problem exacerbated, according to Duncan Lord of Barclays Capital, because of the way payments are made and received in the old IRS system.