European Union


Middle office takes centre stage as Europe moves to T+2

The introduction of T+2 has marked another milestone in the effort to reduce systemic risk for firms trading European securities. But what about other asset classes, such as derivatives? The inconvenient truth is that the world of derivatives, which some view as a much riskier investment choice, lags a long way behind equities in terms of operational efficiency.

Spain braces for major post-trade overhaul

Dramatic reforms to the post-trade environment in Spain are poised to change the way trades are settled, as one of Europe’s top five markets prepares to open an equities CCP for the first time next year.

SIA to shake up “fossilised” P2P payments in a Jiffy

Italian payment processing specialist SIA has released a new P2P payments service that allows users to send and receive funds on their smartphone using their phone contacts. Called Jiffy, the app has been welcomed by Italian retail banks – but SIA’s ambitious plan calls for the service to be rolled out to 400 million European current account holders.

EC lending plans could resurrect securitisation market

The European Commission has introduced new rules designed to encourage investment and trigger liquidity – including the use of “high quality” securitisation. The move has been welcomed cautiously by experts, despite the controversial role of securitisation in the financial crisis.

CaixaBank launches Gemalto-powered NFC mobile payment wristband

CaixaBank, one of Spain’s largest banks, has moved into the wearable payment technology space with the launch of an NFC-enabled wristband capable of making contactless payments. Security vendor Gemalto has supplied its Optelio Contactless MiniTag, which links the wristband to the user’s existing payment card.

European T+2 settlement poses challenge for US ADR trading

The introduction of T+2 settlement in 27 European markets this week could be having some interesting indirect effects on securities trading – including an increase in securities lending, and uncertainty over the status of OTC trades, according to senior financial market observers.

Europe braces for Wednesday ‘double witching day’

Banks and brokers in Europe are bracing themselves for ‘double witching day’ on Wednesday, in which two days’ worth of trades are expected to settle on a single day, as 25 European nations move to T+2 settlement for the first time.

KDPW launch a sign of Polish progress

Warsaw-based Polish central securities depository (CSD), KDPW, has launched a negotiated securities lending and borrowing system in co-operation with KDPW CCP, the country’s central clearing counterparty. The system is designed to prevent or eliminate suspension of settlement of transactions and ensure the return of securities loaned in the automatic lending system.

LME Clear opens for business

The London Metal Exchange has launched its new clearinghouse LME Clear. Built by vendor Cinnober, the system is an important plank of the exchange’s ambitions, which have become more grandiose following its takeover by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing at the beginning of 2013.

Citi launches Total Touch block trading app

Citi has launched an equity trading app called Total Touch, which it says will help make it easier for investors to execute block trades in the European market.

BATS Chi-X sets sights on Swiss ETFs through BX deal

Europe’s largest alternative trading venue BATS Chi-X Europe is set to target the Swiss equities market, following a deal with BX Swiss, an independent exchange. The deal focuses on cross-listings for exchange-traded funds, and trade reporting services – and is a direct threat to the incumbent SIX Swiss Exchange.

ESMA puts IT on the regulatory agenda for credit ratings agencies

The European Securities and Markets Authority has set out a series of tough new proposals for how credit rating agencies should be regulated. The proposals have reignited debate over the agencies, which have been controversial for their alleged role in the financial crisis.

Dark pools, market manipulation and benchmark rigging top risks warns report

Regulators in the US and Europe are stepping up investigations into dark pool activity, market abuse and manipulation of financial benchmarks following a spate of damaging incidents in recent months. Tougher regulatory oversight could have a significant impact on all three areas, according to a new report by financial services technology provider SunGard.

Europe surging ahead in RMB internationalisation

Europe now represents 10% of total Renminbi payments in value worldwide and is leading adoption beyond Asian countries, with four European countries in the top 10, excluding China and Hong Kong, according to Swift. Overall, the RMB strengthened its position as the seventh most used global payments currency and accounted for 1.57% of global payments.

BBVA names Next Bank Europe startup finalists

Spanish bank BBVA has named the 20 finalists for the European leg of its financial services startup challenge, BBVA Open Talent, which will feed into the Next Bank Europe conference in Barcelona next month.

EMIR trade reporting deadline takes effect – but where are the standards?

New European rules that require banks, brokers and clients to report their daily market positions and collateral values to trade repositories came into effect yesterday. But European regulator ESMA made no clarification about models, leaving the question of how to report up to the market. That could cause problems, market participants have warned.

MiFID II: hearing, skirmishing and planning for battle

The reason Europe calls it a regulatory ‘hearing’ is that it is an opportunity to hear views from both regulators and the market. Of course, that’s just part of the experience as many other senses are triggered when 400 people are locked in a basement for 2 days, deprived of connectivity, food and caffeine …

Next Bank Europe plots disruptive ‘hackathon’ in Barcelona

Spanish start-up support organisation Finnovista is hosting a ‘hackathon’ in Barcelona next month which it says will bring together programmers, designers and business people to develop new software for retail banking, capital markets, payments and big data.

SIA and Swish launch m-commerce push

Italian financial infrastructure company SIA has inked a deal with mobile commerce provider Swish Payments to support mobile payments in Africa and Europe. The two firms claim the deal will help to bring more efficient forms of payment to both regions.

Nordea rolls out web-based trade finance tools

Nordic financial services group Nordea has gone live in Frankfurt and London with a web-based trade finance solution, which it says will help to strengthen its international trade finance business.

Facing up to the Financial Transaction Tax

A European financial transaction tax on equities and derivatives trades could be damaging for European liquidity levels and the City of London, but it also looks set to impose serious operational challenges for banks, brokers and their buy-side clients following the failure of a UK appeal to the European Court of Justice earlier this year.

CFTC’s O’Malia warns regulators to “Do No Harm”

Commissioner Scott O’Malia of the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission has called for continuing international co-operation on market surveillance and warned that current oversight mechanisms are flawed in terms of the data they collect and the way that they analyse it.

Don’t blame exchanges for “expensive” market data says Deutsche Börse

It is often said that market data in Europe is too expensive, but it would be unfair to blame that solely on the exchanges, according to Christiane Baumgarten, vice president, market data and services at Deutsche Börse (right). With the consolidated tape mandated by MiFID II due by 2016, market data is at the centre of the European Commission’s plans for a better trading environment in Europe.

MiFID II headache intensifies as ESMA deadline draws near

MiFID II could cause serious problems for banks, brokers and other market participants in the run up to the January 2017 implementation, according to executives attending a meeting chaired by the European Securities Markets Authority in Paris earlier this week.

Cinnober plots new course for BOAT trade reporting service

Trading technology specialist Cinnober has big plans for BOAT, the trade reporting service it acquired from Markit on 1 July – including new asset classes, a new focus on banks and brokers, and a renewed push at data quality.

EU sets date for MiFID II as transparency debate intensifies

The EU has set a date for the introduction of MiFID II, the long-awaited legislation from the European Commission which was recently approved by the European Parliament. The decision follows years of consultation and negotiation, but serious reservations remain about how transparency will be applied to non-equity markets.

European T+2 migration obliges post-trade reform says Fidessa

Shortening settlement cycles and increased regulatory oversight are pushing financial institutions to reform their post-trade processes. That can only be a good thing, according to a new whitepaper from trading technology specialist Fidessa.

Banca Popolare di Bari in branch refresh with NCR

Italy’s Banca Popolare di Bari has chosen ATM manufacturer NCR to help it revitalise its branch network with a new set of systems that it says will help to cut queues and better connect with customers.

ESMA defiant over OTC trade reporting guidance

The European Securities and Markets Authority has disputed claims that it should be doing more to help financial institutions connect with trade repositories, following industry complaints that the regulator has not allowed enough time, has issued key specifications at the last minute, and is now scaling back its involvement with the job unfinished.

European market data: too high a price?

Despite promises of change heralded by the European Commission’s upcoming MiFID II, the cost of market data in Europe is still far too high and transparency remains a serious problem, according to senior financial industry executives. Yet the arrival of the Market Model Typology standard earlier this year may provide a catalyst for change.

European trading venues: the next generation

A new generation of trading venues is competing their way into the European securities markets with plans to make trading more efficient. But will they bring benefit to banks and investors?

MiFID II transparency: a brave new world

As the European Parliament adopted MiFID II/MiFIR on 15 April, the financial services industry was left wondering what exactly the new transparency regime is going to mean. Despite a curiously low EC estimate of compliance costs, at between €512 and €732 million, it is clear that MiFID II will have a large impact on the tens of thousands of firms and counterparties that will now fall under its scope.

SIX to set up Swiss trade repository for OTC derivatives

Switzerland’s SIX Group is planning to set up a central trade repository or derivatives transactions together with a group of Swiss banks, in a move the company says will increase transparency and traceability of derivatives transactions. The project is based on the Swiss Financial Market infrastructure Act, a new piece of federal legislation which seeks […]

The race is on: banks and regulators prepare for AML changes

The European Union and the larger international policy community have given substantial attention to anti-money laundering regimes this year, cueing both financial institutions and regulators to begin the race to implement and enforce respectively, writes Aamir Khan, general counsel and head of London office at Clutch Group.

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