Madrid and Brussels, 24 October 2012 - SWIFT, the financial messaging provider for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 212 countries and territories and Link Up Markets, a joint venture of 11 leading CSDs in Europe and beyond, announced today a cooperation in light of TARGET2-Securities, the pan-European settlement infrastructure that the European Central Bank plans to launch in 2015.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is a significant extension of SWIFT's strategic relationship with the Link Up Markets central securities depositories (CSDs), the Link Up Markets CSDs that will connect to T2S intend to use SWIFT's Value Added Network (VAN) solution to connect to the future pan-European settlement infrastructure that goes live in 2015. This solution enables participants to connect to T2S with the highest resilience, at the best price and with the lowest upfront cost.
Irene Mermigidis, Managing Director, Link Up Markets, said: "The Link Up Markets CSDs will achieve significant cost savings by connecting to T2S through SWIFT. As a global financial services provider, SWIFT is perfectly positioned to extend the benefits of interoperability already achieved through Link Up Markets to an even wider community."
In addition, the current Link Up Markets connectivity and messaging infrastructure - that was created to enable interoperability between CSDs and improve efficiency of cross-border processing - will evolve towards a SWIFT-based solution to create additional infrastructure synergies and facilitate development of additional business flows. In doing so, the Link Up Markets CSDs will benefit from new value-added services including messaging transformation, testing and standards being developed by SWIFT in conjunction with its community of market infrastructures to address common infrastructure problems and mutualise cost of deployment.
The Link Up Markets CSDs will also encourage greater use of SWIFT by their domestic communities, to enable their participants to achieve higher levels of operational efficiency and maximise the value of their investment in SWIFT.
Mermigidis added, "The CSDs are also keen to tap into the value-added services SWIFT is developing to address common industry problems, and support their market participants by extending the benefits of streamlined, standardised communications further into their domestic environments."
Alain Raes, Chief Executive, EMEA, SWIFT, said: "T2S is a very important initiative that is changing the face of the securities industry. We are very excited to be a part of this initiative and that the Link Up Markets CSDs intend to use SWIFT as the connectivity channel to T2S. The securities market infrastructure community is a very important market for SWIFT and we thank the Link Up Markets CSDs for their contribution to the development of value added services we are creating for the securities market infrastructure community. We want to work more closely with these CSDs to help them and the securities market infrastructure community globally develop industry solutions at lowest possible cost."
About Link Up Markets
Link Up Markets is a joint venture between the CSDs of Austria (Oesterreichische Kontrollbank), Cyprus (Cyprus Stock Exchange), Denmark (VP Securities), Egypt (MCDR), Germany (Clearstream Banking Frankfurt), Greece (Hellenic Exchanges), Luxembourg (VP Lux), Norway (VPS), South Africa (Strate), Spain (Iberclear), and Switzerland (SIX SIS), which represents 50% of European as well as 90% of African securities transactions and allows the easy implementation of links between CSDs.
Link Up Markets contributes to a more integrated and efficient securities market in Europe. By connecting to the Link Up Markets infrastructure, each participating CSD accesses the services of the other linked CSD markets. Market participants receive consistent best-in-class core settlement and custody services by directly accessing so far 11 markets via a single CSD gateway. The solution allows CSD customers to significantly reduce the gap between domestic and cross-border costs for transactions.
SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,000 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 212 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.
For more information, please refer to our website http://www.swift.com/ or contact:
Link Up Markets
Tel: +34 91 589 1286
Tel: +32 2 655 3377