New and more demanding international standards for payment, clearing and settlement systems have been issued for public consultation by the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
The new standards are designed to ensure that the essential infrastructure supporting global financial markets is even more robust and thus even better placed to withstand financial shocks than at present. They are set out in a consultative report Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures which contains a single, comprehensive set of 24 principles designed to apply to all systemically important payment systems, central securities depositories, securities settlement systems, central counterparties and trade repositories (collectively called "financial market infrastructures" or "FMIs"). These FMIs collectively record, clear and settle transactions in financial markets.
When finalised, the new principles will replace the three existing sets of CPSS and CPSS-IOSCO standards, the Core principles for systemically important payment systems (2001); the Recommendations for securities settlement systems (2001); and the Recommendations for central counterparties (2004). The CPSS and IOSCO believe that a single set of principles will provide greater consistency in the oversight and regulation of FMIs worldwide.
"Robust and efficient FMIs help to ensure that markets continue to function effectively even in times of crisis. They are an essential prerequisite for financial stability," says William C Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and CPSS Chairman.
Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman of the Netherlands AFM and IOSCO's Technical Committee, adds that "FMIs have generally performed well. Nevertheless there were lessons to be learnt both from the recent crisis and from the years of more normal operation since the current standards were issued. With these new principles we believe we have produced a blueprint for the safety and stability of global financial infrastructure that will stand the test of time".
Compared with the current standards, the new principles introduce more demanding requirements in many important areas including the financial resources and risk management procedures an FMI uses to cope with the default of participants; the mitigation of operational risk; and the links and other interdependencies between FMIs through which operational and financial risks can spread.
There are also principles covering issues that are not fully addressed by the existing standards. These include new principles on segregation and portability, tiered participation and general business risk.
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