27 Jan 2022

Shortening the settlement cycle

Why Europe should not wait too long to introduce T+1

Apostolos Thomadakis

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The amount of time required for the settlement of securities is a long-running issue for European capital markets. Twenty years ago, the Giovannini Group looked at the large number of securities settlement systems that existed in Europe (and still do). In 2014, based on the Group’s proposals for improving the settlement cycle, the EU moved from T+3 (trade date plus three business days) to T+2 (trade date plus two business days), with the US following a few years later in 2017. The US is now ready to shorten its settlement cycle further to T+1 by 2024, and the question of whether the EU should follow cannot be ignored for too much longer. However, the significant problems caused by the diversity and fragmentation of the EU’s capital markets and market infrastructures would have to be solved first.