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EU financial markets infrastructures

The Ministers and Governors discussed progress with actions aimed at improving the infrastructure for clearing and settlement for securities transactions with a view to ensuring that securities can be exchanged as efficiently and safely as possible within the EU. Overall, Ministers considered that while substantial progress has been made both by the private and the public sector, efforts must be continued as follows:

  1. All the three pillars of the code of conduct signed by the clearing and settlement industry in November 2006 have been put in operation which has injected momentum in the market. The positive impacts to date are reflected most visibly in improved price transparency and a decrease in post-trading fees. There is a need to ensure that the benefits of the code are also transmitted to retail investors.;

  2. Despite the actions taken to date to remove the so called 'Giovannini barriers', enhanced efforts will be needed, especially to abolish the legal and fiscal barriers for an integrated clearing and settlement market in the EU. To this end,  the ongoing technical work is expected to results in precise roadmap for actions to ensure swift progress in this area;

  3. The Ministers and Governors also agreed on a way forward for enhancing the consistency of 'safety and soundness' requirements for the post-trading system in the EU. The Ministers invited the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) together with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) to develop recommendations to the authorities for common practices.

Ministers and Governors agreed to monitor developments in these areas closely, including with a view to assess the need for further actions if results are not satisfactory. The Ecofin will return to these issues in greater detail at its meeting on 3 June.


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Date: 05.04.2008