Friday, February 27, 2009

Bank in the future


the presentation of the future of banking.

Of course there is a future in banking … it’s just that no one knows what it is or what it looks like right now.

So here’s my way to clarify it.

First, use Michael Porter’s forces of change, which we use extensively to model the future in one of the other companies I founded: Shaping Tomorrow. Michael Porter’s forces are based upon the key drivers of impact upon a company, which are Political, Economic, Social and Technological or PEST for short**.

What’s the PEST in banking, apart from regulators and politicians (ed: are these today’s pests)?

Reasonably obvious.

Politically, lawmakers are desperately trying to come up with ways and means to get some stability back into the system to restore confidence, control and credibility.

Economically, the seizure in lending and liquidity is driving down economies worldwide. Apart from major concerns related to protectionism and retrenchment, economists are tryig to figure out whether we are facing normality, stagflation, deflation, or something worse (ed: Reformation, Revolution, Armageddon?).

Society meanwhile has completely lost confidence and trust in bankers and policymakers. Therefore, they are postponing spending, with savings levels rising for the first time in years in many of the ‘borrowing’ economies.

Technology continues to develop at a pace meanwhile, with everything completely transparent. Nothing can be hidden anymore. As a result, new models of access to financial services are arising, such as Zopa, Prosper, Wonga, SmartyPig, the new MTFs and clearing systems for trading, the Barter Network, complementary currencies. All of these are discussed extensively in the discussion series around

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Euroclear Entity overview


Turnover was effectively stable at Euroclear Bank, Euroclear UK & Ireland and Euroclear France.

Euroclear Bank’s turnover was EUR 282.5 trillion in 2008 compared with EUR 284.5 trillion in 2007. Euroclear UK & Ireland had a sixth consecutive year of turnover growth by recording EUR 177.7 trillion in 2008, slightly higher than the EUR 176.5 trillion recorded in 2007. High UK market volatility during 2008 was a contributing factor to this development. Turnover at Euroclear France was EUR 93.6 trillion in 2008 compared to EUR 94.7 trillion in 2007. An increase in settlement activity for fixedincome transactions largely compensated for the decline in equity settlement activity in France.

Turnover for Euroclear Nederland receded from EUR 5.6 trillion in 2007 to EUR 4.3 trillion in 2008, a decline of over 20%. In 2008, Euroclear Belgium’s turnover dropped by 34%, from EUR 510 billion in 2007 to EUR 335 billion in 2008. The declines in Belgium and the Netherlands mirror the difficult market environments and lower equity investment levels experienced throughout the year. For example, the BEL 20 and AEX both contracted more than 50% by the end of 2008 compared to year-end 2007.

Euroclear Finland’s combined turnover for the months of November and December 2008 was EUR 90 billion. Euroclear Sweden’s turnover for the same period was EUR 1.3 trillion.

Number of netted transactions settled

In 2008, Euroclear Bank settled 42.0 million transactions, an increase of 3% from the 40.8 million transactions processed in 2007, which constitutes a strong achievement in comparison to similar service providers in the market. Euroclear France settled 31.7 million transactions in 2008, almost equal to the 32.3 million processed in 2007. Euroclear UK & Ireland settled 69.1 million versus 75.0 million, or 8% fewer transactions than in 2007. Euroclear Nederland processed 4.4 million transactions in 2008, almost on par with the 4.7 million transactions processed the previous year. Euroclear Belgium processed 2.2 million transactions in 2008, 21% less than the 2.8 million transactions in 2007, partly due to account consolidation by clients.

Euroclear Finland settled 2.6 million transactions in November and December 2008. For the same period, Euroclear Sweden recorded 5.3 million settled transactions.

Securities held in custody

The results reported across the group for assets held in custody reflect the sharp erosion of securities values across asset classes, most predominantly in equities, as well as the market trend towards cash liquidity. At the same time, Euroclear benefited from the inclusion of Euroclear Finland and Euroclear Sweden, and from growth in fixed-income securities holdings.

The value of securities held in custody by Euroclear Bank was relatively flat in 2008 at EUR 9.1 trillion, compared to EUR 9.2 trillion recorded in 2007.

At Euroclear France, the 2008 total value of securities held was EUR 4.5 trillion, a 15% decrease from 2007’s EUR 5.3 trillion.

Securities held for clients through Euroclear UK & Ireland dropped 10% in 2008 to GBP 2.3 trillion from GBP 2.6 trillion in 2007. The large swings in sterling/euro currency exchange rates in 2008 magnifies the decline when expressed in euro, i.e., 26% from EUR 3.5 trillion in 2007 to EUR 2.6 trillion in 2008.

The value of securities held in Euroclear Nederland fell to EUR 819 billion in 2008 compared to the EUR 945 billion recorded in 2007, a decrease of 13%. Last year, securities held by Euroclear Belgium declined by 29% to EUR 161 billion from EUR 228 billion in 2007.

Euroclear Finland recorded EUR 199 billion and Euroclear Sweden posted EUR 643 billion in the value of securities held in custody at year-end 2008.

Daily value of collateral provision outstanding

The combined 2008 yearly average in triparty collateral management deals outstanding at Euroclear Bank and in daily Delivery-by-Value (DBV) and money-market instrument repo instructions at Euroclear UK & Ireland decreased by 29% compared with 2007. The fall in triparty collateral management activity can be attributed to several factors: the failure of Lehman Brothers, an active triparty client; substantially lower levels of leveraged borrowing in the banking system; and less overall collateralised trading as most financing is now provided by central banks, which largely takes place through bilateral agreements.

Reflecting market trends in 2008, triparty collateral management deals outstanding managed by Euroclear Bank at year-end 2008 fell 35% to a daily average of EUR 211.9 billion compared with EUR 328.1 billion at the end of 2007.

Euroclear UK & Ireland processed the equivalent of GBP 190.2 billion in daily Deliveryby- Value and money-market instrument repo instructions in 2008, 3% less than the GBP 196.9 billion in 2007. When stated in euro, due to currency exchange rate fluctuations, the figures show a 20% decline to EUR 212.4 billion in 2008 compared to EUR 266.9 billion in 2007.


Like most other sectors, European investment funds were severely affected by the credit crisis in 2008. The combined assets of European investment funds plunged to EUR 6.1 trillion at the end of 2008 from EUR 7.9 trillion a year earlier, according to figures from the European Fund and Asset Management Association (Efama).

Contrary to market trends, the number of fund transactions processed by the Euroclear group, including EMXCo, reached a record 10 million in 2008. FundSettle now covers more than 39,000 offshore and domestic funds from 22 countries, including clients’ in-house funds, having added more than 6,000 funds in 2008. The number of active FundSettle accounts increased from 451 to 482 in 2008.

EMXCo, a leading UK provider of investment-fund order routing and part of the Euroclear group since 2007, routed over 22.7 million messages in 2008, an increase of 17% on the 19.2 million messages routed in 2007. This increase, during difficult market conditions, is attributable to growth from existing participants as well as the high number of new joiners to the system; 14 fund providers and 160 distributors joined the EMX Message System in 2008, taking the total to 89 fund providers and 342 distributors by the end of the year.

Note to Editors

Euroclear provides domestic and cross-border settlement and related services for bond, equity, derivatives and fund transactions. User owned and user governed, the Euroclear group comprises Euroclear Bank, based in Brussels, as well as Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear Finland, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear Sweden and Euroclear UK & Ireland. Euroclear also owns EMXCo, a leading provider of investment-fund order routing in the UK, and is awaiting regulatory approvals to acquire Xtrakter, owner of the TRAX trade matching system. Euroclear Bank is rated AA+ by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Althought in a turbulent year but euroclear have a solid performance

Brussels, 23 February 2009 – The 2008 business results for the Euroclear group of national and international central securities depositories (CSDs) were resilient. Against equity market capitalisation decreases of more than 45% in Belgium, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK in 2008, the Euroclear group settled 157 million transactions worth approximately EUR 560 trillion in 2008, on par with 2007.

Euroclear also made good progress on delivering its strategic objectives, launching its platform to process all domestic and cross-border transactions involving Belgian, Dutch and French securities in January 2009, finalising in October 2008 the acquisition of NCSD, covering the CSDs of Finland and Sweden, and announcing an agreement to purchase Xtrakter in early 2009.
Pierre Francotte, Chief Executive Officer of Euroclear SA/NV, said: “Euroclear proved very resilient in 2008, helping to bring safety and stability to the capital markets, precisely what is expected of a market infrastructure, particularly during periods of tremendous volatility. We have been leveraging our risk management expertise to offer our clients a safe haven for their securities business, now and in the difficult months ahead. Notwithstanding the impact of the financial crisis on securities values and the levels of client trading and settlement activity generally, Euroclear’s solid 2008 operational performance demonstrates our clients’ search for low risk and low cost posttrade solutions. Our focus in the coming months will be to further reduce their costs and risks."

Operating highlights

The entity-specific and combined results of the Euroclear group (including November and December 2008 figures for turnover and transactions settled, and the year-end 2008 value of securities held for Euroclear Finland and Euroclear Sweden, which became part of the group on 31 October 2008) are:

Turnover, or the value of securities transactions settled, was largely stable at EUR 559.8 trillion compared to EUR 561.8 trillion in 2007.

• The number of netted transactions settled in the Euroclear group increased slightly to 157.3 million in 2008 compared with 155.6 million in 2007.

• The value of securities held for Euroclear clients at the end of 2008 was EUR 18.1 trillion, a 6% decrease from the EUR 19.2 trillion recorded at year-end 2007, driven mostly by lower equity and fund asset values in some of the CSD markets of the Euroclear group.

• The combined daily value of collateral provision outstanding in Euroclear Bank and Euroclear UK & Ireland experienced a 29% drop in 2008 to EUR 424.3 billion compared with EUR 595.0 billion at the end of 2007, largely due to deleveraging in the industry.

May be riot for the banking


The start point of such a conversation has to be Iceland, where the Prime Minister's car was surrounded during daily protests outside the government buildings

This is from January 21st, just before the government was replaced wholesale.

Displacing a government doesn't solve the issues, but it does make folks feel better which is why there's also a lot happening around Europe.

In fact, Eastern Europe has a growing range of issues, with shares of banks with major exposure in Eastern Europe - such as Raiffeissen, Erste, Uncredit and Societe Generale - tumbling in recent weeks.

This is because of growing political instability in some of these countries, particularly Latvia, Ukraine and Georgia, triggered by the global economic crisis and made worse by deep internal problems, such as corruption.

It has also been made worse by a battle between the European Union and Russia over the allegiance of these countries and where their interests lie.

Whilst in Europe, there are protests and battles everywhere from Greece to France, Spain to Ireland; and the UK will not miss out, as the police fear a 'summer of rage'. This rage may well spill over at the G20 Summit in April, with organisations clearly trying to create a co-ordinated plan of action.

I am not saying there will be trouble on April 2nd, but I do believe that a large crowd of people protesting can easily spill over into rage and violence ... not always, but with the current anger boiling beneath the surface of most societies, don't be surprised if this happens.

Equally, I am not saying that Europe is falling apart, but it is being truly strained.

Outside the EU it's just as concerning as even the usually mild and sedate Japanese are having mild rumblings as the country sinks into 'despair'.

Most suprisingly of all the Canadians, who have the safest economy of all, are protesting as "a growing online community of Canadians who feel disenfranchised by social turmoil, economic instability, and 21st-century uncertainty (are) beginning to speak out."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ESES – cost saving through

The launch of the ESES platform for the three CSDs of the Euronext
zone that are part of the Euroclear group (Belgium, France, and The
Netherlands) is the functional equivalent for these markets of what
the Single Platform of Euroclear will provide for all markets in 2011. It
includes the full range of services, such as corporate actions and the
services that T2S will deliver in 2013 on the settlement side, for these
three markets. What this means for our clients
is that they can settle crossborder transactions between
national markets just like domestic transactions, thereby reducing the
direct and indirect costs of settlement and custody of cross-border
transactions. This is of importance even for firms
that have only a small percentage of business in foreign securities, as
it can represent as much as 80% of their processing costs in these
markets. With the new harmonised ESES platform, user firms can move
parts of their international back office into their domestic back office
and save by using one team and one infrastructure to process three
markets in a standardised way. It is now also cheaper and easier to access
the CSDs of Belgium, France and The Netherlands directly. Previously, for
example, a client of the French CSD that was also active in the Belgian
or Dutch market would have had to use an agent bank or an ICSD as
intermediary. Now, it can operate in these markets directly if it so
wishes, while operating from a single location.

A trusted and reliable partner through good times and bad

The current crisis is not just another
blip in the financial heart monitor,
soon to be forgotten. The structure
of the market will change in a
lasting way and regulatory changes
will profoundly affect the way in
which business is conducted. The
repercussions of the crisis will remain
with us for many years to come.
The trading and post-trading sectors
have been creating competition in
the market, but have simultaneously
brought greater fragmentation and
complexity. There is a particularly
strong need to ensure that risks in the
market are further reduced and kept
to a minimum. At the same time the
pressure on costs will continue and
indeed intensify. This dual objective
creates considerable challenges.
Infrastructure services providers like
Euroclear are in a unique position
to help take on this challenge
successfully. It is their duty to do
so in a way that contributes to the
stabilisation of markets. And it is also
in their interest, as they are the ones
who can provide this combination of
lower costs and lower risks so that
clients will have a better chance of
weathering the storm and attracting
greater critical mass. Euroclear
has gained a reputation over the
years for being very risk conscious
and for developing world class risk
management expertise. We also
have a track record of developing
innovative and highly reliable
solutions for the market, including
large scale projects. Now is the time
to make sure that all of our clients can
benefit from all of this expertise in the
difficult months ahead.

What a New Economics in Banking


The bank recognises that most activities outside direct servicing of the customer is commoditised. A commodity is worth nothing, and so all processing and technology is priced at near zero because they become freely available networked widgets

Commodity processing being made freely available is a radical departure from bank histories which is why this will be a culture shock for many bankers … and yet, the pricing and economics is relatively obvious.

Let’s start with the cost of building BaaS.

The cost can be however much you want it to be. In HSBC’s case, the cost of building their global internet service is around $250 million … but that’s cheap enough considering that they were building a global bespoke service.

For HSBC that means they can launch a completely customised internet banking service in any country, by just ticking the boxes you want in that service and it's up and running. No additional development or cost.

But for most, it's not $250 million developments, it's a few thousand dollars to deploy a piece of functionality.

Y’see the key point is that, whatever the cost is, once it’s built - it’s built.

That’s it.

You have sunk the cost and built the widget.

Now, the critical point is not to protect the widget but to get everyone to use it.

What’s the point of investing in a developments today if you can’t get volume?

And that’s the point of BaaS: once you’ve built your widget, crank up the volume and volume increases fast these days.

That’s how Chi-X, the pan-European equities trading facility, could take more than 10% of many traditional European exchanges equities trading ... within a year.

And, having built the system, it is why Chi-x, Turquoise and NASDAQ OMX and co are after volume.

It is why Zopa, SmartyPig and PayPal are leveraging volume.

And that's what any bank building components of applications should be thinking about today.


Because additional volume adds zero cost and purely feeds return on investment.

Think of it like making movies. Once the movie is made, you’ve spent all the budget. Now, the point is to get bums on seats and market the hell out of it.

And that’s how banking widgets in BaaS should be considered.

Market the hell out of your widget, crank up the volume and focus upon the service delivery – the human interfaces – as your critical value-add differentiation. Your value-add is how you package the widgets and present them, not the widgets themselves.

That’s why Citigroup have been marketing the hell out of their FX and other services for the last two years. They want volume on their widget, and Citi are one of the few banks who have been white labelling their systems to other banks. They get some of the BaaS components.

The idea is really illustrated by telecoms folks who get networks. For example, I once worked for NCR when they were owned by AT&T. I always remember the AT&T guys talking about “minutes on the network, it’s all about minutes on the network”, and that’s the key.

Once you’ve built the infrastructure, it’s all about getting volume because it costs you no more to process a billion calls than it does to process one.

Which brings us back to the economics of banking in the future, under the BaaS model and the culture shock this creates.

I was recently with a head of payments at one bank for example, who said: "our technology guys asked me the other day why we charge more for a $50 million payment than we do for a $5 payment, when the infrastructure costs to process are the same? Are they mad?"

No sir. They are asking an obvious question at the heart of the change that needs to be made to banking cultures as they realise the change that technology now delivers.

This payments guy was from that old school of banking that are the ones now waking up to the new world realities.

Thirty years ago, when many senior bankers were starting out in their banks, they were told that technology was expensive, inflexible and must be used forever, or at least until the systems peg it anyway.

That’s why every project was massive, time consuming and demanded huge cost.

When SWIFT, MasterCard, Visa and the key networks for transaction processing were built, for example, they had to be built by an industry consortium. No individual bank could afford such a huge project or cost. That is why these were cooperative groups back in the 1970’s across all banks, even though MasterCard and Visa are now proprietary firms. Nevertheless, the MasterCard and Visa IPO’s are only recent and recognise the economics of BaaS.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Banks market cap down $5.5tn in a year

I just picked up Boston Consulting Group's (BCG's) annual report on banking which is called “Living with New Realities: Creating Value in Banking 2009”.

The preface says it all:

"Since the pre-crisis peak, the market capitalisation of the global banking industry has fallen by $5.5 trillion. This is equivalent to 10 percent of global GDP ..."

The report’s tables show that only four large-cap banks survived 2007-2008 with market capitalisation over $100 billion: ICBC, China Construction Bank, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC.

It then makes four key forecasts for the forward landscape of banking:

"We expect the much maligned universal banking model to re-establish its primacy. The fundamentals of the model are sound. These banks are built on strong customer relationship and funded predominately from their own deposit base.

"At the same time, banks will become more focused. They will compete where they can win. Large banks will still loom over the landscape, but they are much more likely to be multi-local institutions - repeating a simpler, more standardised business model across fewer countries - rather than wide-ranging, highly complex global titans. Competitive advantage is bank in fashion.

"Banks will move forward by returning to the past. They will once again emphasize the 'old-fashioned' products and practices, where the bias is to lend what gets taken in as deposits. Their business models will reflect a more cautious, more highly regulated, and less risk-oriented environment. There will be a stronger focus on transaction, processing and fee-based activities.

"This does not mean that banking will be dull or easy. If anything, it will become more demanding as banks get back to the business of focusing on customers - the emphasis will be on relationships, not products. Branches may need to extend their hours of operation. Advice will need to be more meaningful and relevant, and thus more valuable. Operations will need to become not only more efficient, but also more responsive to customers."

Not sure about those forecasts, as a return to basics with a focus on the customer is what some banks have been doing for years.

Nevertheless, the report has lots of charts and statistics which are worth a view, and shows which banks in the Top 30 were the best and worst performers by market capitalisation, return on equity and more.

For example, the top 5 gainers are: Blackrock, Sberbank, Unibanco, China Merchants Bank and State Bank of India; and the top 5 losers: Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and UBS.

NCSD becomes Euroclear Finland and Euroclear Sweden


Brussels, Helsinki and Stockholm, 9 February 2009 - Euroclear Finland Oy and Euroclear Sweden AB are today the official names of the central securities depositories (CSDs) of Finland and Sweden. Formerly known as Suomen Arvopaperikeskus Oy (APK) and VPC AB (VPC), respectively, together they formed Nordic Central Securities Depository (NCSD) which Euroclear acquired in November 2008. These name changes forge a common identity with the other group entities of Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear UK & Ireland and the international CSD, Euroclear Bank.

The transaction-processing platforms of Euroclear Sweden and Euroclear Finland will be fully integrated within the Euroclear group immediately after the launch of the Single Platform in 2011. It will then be possible for clients of these CSDs to access the post-trade infrastructure covering all seven EU markets served by Euroclear as efficiently and cost effectively as in their respective home markets. Harmonised market rules and practices will reduce cross-border transaction complexities and deliver sizeable client back-office synergies and cost savings.

Kjell Arvidsson, Chairman of the Boards of Euroclear Finland and Euroclear Sweden, commented: “The Euroclear group is eliminating artificial boundaries and avoidable costs for clients conducting securities deals across national borders, often involving a multitude of intermediaries and different processing methods. Clients of Euroclear Sweden, Euroclear Finland and beyond can together expect to reap back-office savings of more than EUR 300 million per year.”

The seven Euroclear group CSDs represent approximately 65% of the Eurotop 300 equity markets. When including Euroclear Bank, the international CSD, the group covers over 50% of all European domestic debt outstanding.


Based on year-end 2007 data, the combined Euroclear group settled the equivalent of more than EUR 575 trillion in securities transactions, representing 198 million domestic and cross-border transactions, and held more than EUR 20 trillion in assets for clients. NCSD and the Euroclear group are interoperable with multiple CSDs and clearing houses, and serve various multi-lateral trading facilities and stock exchanges including NASDAQ OMX, NYSE Euronext, the London Stock Exchange, Chi-X, among others.

Once completed, Euroclear’s Single Platform will be an integrated post-trade processing platform settling domestic and cross-border transactions involving securities issued in Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the wide range of international securities serviced by Euroclear Bank. A new Common Communications Interface is being developed in parallel so that all clients of the Euroclear group will access the Single Platform using the same gateway via common communication standards (ISO 15022 and ISO 20022). Euroclear has designed the Single Platform as a multi-jurisdictional and multi-currency solution that will allow clients to settle securities transactions in central bank or commercial bank money, as they choose. The Single Platform will meet client needs for all types of CSD and ICSD processing requirements including corporate-action processing, collateral management, and securities lending and borrowing transactions. Euroclear provides domestic and cross-border settlement and related services for bond, equity, derivatives and fund transactions. User owned and user governed, the Euroclear group comprises Euroclear Bank, based in Brussels, as well as Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear Finland, Euroclear France, Euroclear Nederland, Euroclear Sweden and Euroclear UK & Ireland. Euroclear also owns EMXCo, a leading provider of investment-fund order routing in the UK. Euroclear Bank is rated AA+ by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Alliance Web Platform, harmonising the Alliance user interface


With the next release of Alliance portfolio we launch a new browser-based graphical user interface framework for Alliance servers, Alliance Web Platform. The new approach offers a scalable and simple to deploy solution, effectively lowering the total cost of ownership.

Indeed, with Alliance Web Platform users can access Alliance server functions via Internet Explorer without any additional software installed on the user’s desktop.

As of April 2009, the Alliance users will receive Alliance Web Platform as a part of release 6.3. Without additional licensing and free of charge, the new user interface will be available for:

  • Relationship Management (RMA)
  • Accessing Browse-based SWIFTNet services
  • Alliance Gateway administration
In addition, a user interface for MT and MX message processing (the existing Alliance Messenger functionality) will also be available in release 6.3. Its usage, however, will require a dedicated licence option.

Alliance Web Platform will gradually replace Alliance Messenger, WebStation and Workstation and will evolve in the future to:

  • offering complete set of functions available currently on Alliance Workstation and Alliance WebStation
  • enabling simultaneous connections to several Alliance servers within the same user session
  • enhancing the user interface for better usability in a multi-server environment
The release 6.3 is the first step towards a single interface to the Alliance operational environment. In this community, we welcome your questions, comments and ideas on how to make this interface most usable and efficient in the future

by Diana Tourko

History of Euroclear

The Euroclear System

While several entities that are now part of the Euroclear group were established some years earlier, the Euroclear name came into existence in Brussels in 1968 with the creation of the Euroclear System. The System was set up with the aim of enhancing efficiency and minimising risk in settling transactions in USD eurobonds, a fast-growing international securities market. Incorporated under and subject to Belgian law, it was then part of Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York and the first International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) in the world.

The Euroclear System was designed largely to immobilise the transfer of physical securities and settle transactions through the simultaneous book-entry exchange of cash and securities. At that time, all processing took place manually, all instruments were still in physical form, and Euroclear was staffed by a mere 100 people.

Today, the Euroclear group has more than 3,000 employees and operates from offices all over the world.


In the early 1970s, the Euroclear System was sold to the market-owned company Euroclear Clearance System Plc, which Morgan Guaranty Trust continued to operate. Euroclear has been user owned ever since.

Developing a single access point

Euroclear progressively expanded its service offering to include links to domestic bond, equity and, later on, fund markets. More recently, we also developed products to manage derivatives exposures and settle transactions in emission rights.

Over the years, Euroclear has continually built on its core settlement and safekeeping function, offering extensive wholesale custody, securities lending and borrowing and collateral management services.

This expanded coverage has strengthened the role of the ICSD as a single access point to multiple markets and instruments.

Leading settlement consolidation in Europe

A major development came in 2000 when Euroclear Bank, an independent, user-owned and user-governed company, was launched to assume the operating and banking roles previously carried out by Morgan Guaranty Trust.

Euroclear has since been at the forefront of settlement infrastructure consolidation in Europe, as a means of helping our clients to benefit fully from the prospect of a single European financial market.

The first step was the outsourcing of the Irish government bond settlement activity by the Central Bank of Ireland to Euroclear Bank in 2000. There then followed an intense phase of mergers with European Central Securities Depositories (CSDs):

  • Euroclear France
    Joined Euroclear group: January 2001
    Established: 1949 as Sicovam

    Euroclear France is the CSD of France and is established under French law.

  • Euroclear Nederland
    Joined Euroclear group: May 2002
    Established: 1977 as Nederlands Centraal Instituut voor Giraal Effectenverkeer BV (NECIGEF)

    Euroclear Nederland is the CSD of The Netherlands. All securities transactions settled through Euroclear Nederland are subject to Dutch law and take place in compliance with the Securities Giro Act (Wet Giraal Effectenverkeer).

  • Euroclear UK & Ireland
    Joined Euroclear group: September 2002
    Established: 1993 as CRESTCo, start of operations in 1996

    Euroclear UK & Ireland is the CSD for UK securities and Irish equities. It is established as a Recognised Clearing House under the Financial Services and Markets Act and as Operator of the settlement system under the Uncertified Securities Regulations 2001 (as amended).

  • Euroclear Belgium
    Joined Euroclear group: January 2006
    Established: 1967 as Caisse Interprofessionnelle de Dépôts et de Virements de Titres (CIK)/Interprofessionele Effectendeposito- en Girokas

    Euroclear Belgium is the CSD for Belgium and is incorporated under and subject to Belgian law.

In January 2007, the fund order routing provider EMXCo also became part of the Euroclear group. Established in 1999, EMXCo operates the EMX Message System, which is the de-facto standard for mutual fund order routing in the United Kingdom. This is an important step in Euroclear’s strategy to improve the efficiency of both domestic and cross-border funds processing.

A new corporate structure

As a result of these mergers, the corporate structure of the Euroclear group was reorganised on 1 January 2005. The international CSD Euroclear Bank, formerly the parent company of the other entities of the group, became a sister company of these entities, and a new non-bank holding company called Euroclear SA/NV became the parent company of all the entities.

Delivering a domestic market for Europe

Euroclear is now implementing its Business Model to make cross-border settlement cheaper and more efficient, in order to help deliver a domestic market for Europe. Euroclear SA/NV is developing the group’s Single Platform which will deliver harmonised custody and settlement services for all its (I)CSDs.

Following intensive market-wide consultation, the first stage of Euroclear’s Single Platform, the Single Settlement Engine (SSE) was fully implemented in early 2007. The SSE consolidates settlement processing across the group entities and is the foundation for future integration.

In November 2007, Euroclear launched the first phase of Euroclear Settlement of Euronext-zone Securities (ESES). This will provide the Euronext-zone market CSDs (Euroclear Belgium, Euroclear France and Euroclear Nederland) with an integrated settlement solution and harmonised custody service for stock exchange and over-the-counter activities, and is an important intermediary step towards the Single Platform

Alliance Connect - Enhancing our network connectivity


On 1 April 2009, we will introduce new network connectivity products. In line with our new customer segmentation, these products address the needs of low, medium and high volume customers:

The new products come with brand new VPN boxes, which are more powerful and adapted to the harsh Internet environment. They bring stronger resiliency, with advanced fall-over capability, for all our customers.

Targeted, cheaper prices
The pricing structure continues to be based on a monthly recurring port fee. Besides, it takes into consideration the needs of different customer segments. Network connectivity represents a large proportion of the overall connectivity costs for low and – to a lesser extent - medium volume customers. Alliance Connect Bronze is at least 30% cheaper compared to existing dial-up connections, and Alliance Connect Silver removes the back-up fees. This results in a cheaper, yet better performing network connectivity offering for low and medium volume customers.

Early adopters and upgrade programme
Early adopters:
As of December 2008, SWIFT Customer Services will intercept all new orders and inform customers of the upcoming availability of the new products. Customers will be offered the choice between participating in the early adopter programme during March 2009, opting for implementing one of the new products as of April 2009 or proceeding with the ordering and installation of the old connectivity product.
Upgrade programme:
As of June 2009, SWIFT will encourage existing customers to upgrade their current network connectivity solution to one of the new products.

In 2010, SWIFT will launch a programme to make it easier for the remaining customers to upgrade to the new products by end 2011. This will be done in close collaboration with our Network Partners.

More Information
Additional information is available in the fact sheets (please refer to the documents folder).
Do not hesitate to post your questions and comments.

Kind regards,

SIDE is expanding in Belgium, Luxembourg and France.


2007 was a booming and eventful year for SIDE International: several new customers in new regions became users of our solutions, our SIDE SafeWatch Profiling solution was actively piloted, and SIDE became a proud member of the EastNets Group.

There has been a successful and ongoing restructuring of SIDE, which is now better adapted to serving our growing customer base. This new structure will leverage the synergies brought by the integration within the EastNets Group.

To support the continued growth of our organization, SIDE has relocated its Belgian, Luxembourg and French offices:

You can contact us at:

SIDE France – EastNets Group
Boulevard des Italiens, 9
F-75002 PARIS
Tel: +33 1 70 61 85 26
Fax: +33 1 42 60 47 59

SIDE Luxembourg – EastNets Group
Route des Trois Cantons, 11
Tel: +352 26 30 95 1
Fax: +352 26 10 80 66

SIDE Belgium – EastNets Group
(As from April 7th)
Drève Richelle 161 - Building P
Tel: +32 2 656 00 60
Fax: +32 2 656 00 70

We look forward to hearing from you and we’ll gladly welcome you to visit our new offices.

For more information, contact SIDE International - EastNets Group

Thursday, February 19, 2009

29/07/2008 - EastNets™ elects new Chairman and new Board of Directors

Meeting in Belgium coincided with the first anniversary of SIDE International Acquisition

EastNets™, an IT Solution Provider engaged in the provision of handling confidential transactions primarily for the financial, corporate and government sectors in Europe, United States of America, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, has announced the appointment of its new Board of Directors. Hazem Mulhim, CEO, hosted the Board’s second meeting on July 16, 2008, in EastNets offices in Waterloo, Belgium, coinciding with the marking of the first anniversary of EastNets™’ acquisition of SIDE International.
High-profile Board Members include Mr. Jaap Kamp, an Independent Expert and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) from Holland, who was elected as Chairman of EastNets Group Board; and Mr. Steffen Schubert, CEO of “Anapix Capital Ltd.” and former CEO of the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX), who brings 25 years of solid experience in financial markets to the group.

The Board also includes Mr. Ray Mulhern, an Independent Expert, President of “The M Consulting Group”, and former Vice President of Bank of New York from the US; Mr. Mohamed Kaissi, representing Technology World Company, from Kuwait; Mr. Hussein Ali Nasser, representing Industrial and Financial Investments Company, from Kuwait; Mr. Abdallah Al Kulaib, representing Aref Group, from Kuwait; Mr. Andi Dervishi, representing International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is part of World Bank Group, from USA; and Mr. David Salloum, the Board of Directors Legal Secretary.

“Our new members of the Board comprise of industry leaders who will help set new and exciting directions for EastNets™. Our recent meeting allowed us to fully assess our current status and start planning for the company’s future growth. We assure our valued clients that this is the beginning of even greater achievements and stronger partnerships for us all,” said Mulhim.

The meeting of the new Board of Directors in Belgium commemorated EastNets™’ first year anniversary of the strategic acquisition of SIDE International, a renowned developer of software for the IT infrastructure of the financial industry in 2007. The two companies have been close business partners since 2002 and have been leveraging their successful collaboration to expand operational capabilities and international reach since the strategic takeover.

Mr. Mulhim added: “After completing the successful year of SIDE International acquisition, and as part of our commitment and dedication to integrating and growing the market reach and product offering for SIDE International, we are happy to announce the appointment of Mr. Freddy Nurski as a Managing Director for EastNets-SIDE. Mr. Nurski brings to the company a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in the ITC services with fortune 500 companies”.

Dubai-headquartered EastNets™ has been handling confidential transactions for more than 850 customers from the financial, corporate and government sectors in Europe, the US, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa for over 24 years. The company is accredited as SWIFT Business, Service, Service Bureau, Educational and Solution Partner to offer SWIFT customers’ customized services related to the implementation, integration, and upgrade of SWIFTNet infrastructure products and SWIFT interfaces, and to meet established quality standards.

For more information, contact EastNets Group

ECB to take over EU Supervision

In a speech by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB) last Thursday, he emphasized the idea of a single European supervisory authority.

This has been mooted since the EU's Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) was created in 2000, and is a regular discussion. It is now even more discussed as a result of the financial crisis.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Smaghi argues that the new central EU Regulator should be the ECB.

Chris Skinner


Euroclear is a user-owned, user-governed Brussels, Belgium-based financial services company that specializes in the settlement of securities transactions.

It was founded in 1968 as part of J.P. Morgan & Co. Euroclear settles domestic and international securities transactions, covering bonds, equities, derivatives and investment funds. Euroclear provides securities services to financial institutions located in more than 80 countries.

In addition to its role as an International Central Securities Depository (ICSD), Euroclear also acts as the Central Securities Depository (CSD) for Belgian, Dutch, French, Irish, and UK securities. Euroclear also owns EMXCo, the UK's leading provider of investment-fund order routing.
Euroclear is the largest international central securities depository in the world.

Finance on me


President Barack Obama's plan to tackle the foreclosure crisis will spend $75 billion in an effort to prevent up to 9 million Americans from losing their homes. In tandem, the Treasury Department said it would double the size of its lifeline to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government, which seized the mortgage finance companies last fall, said Wednesday it would absorb up to $200 billion in losses at each company.

Fluor Daniel Corporation vacancy open


The company's Industrial & Infrastructure segment offers design, engineering, procurement, and construction services to the transportation, mining, life sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, commercial and institutional, microelectronics, and healthcare sectors with respect to new construction and refurbishment. Its service offerings include roads, highways, bridges, rail, and airports. Its Government segment provides engineering, construction, contingency response, management, and operations services to the United States government, focusing on the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense.

The company's Global Services segment offers operations and maintenance, small capital project engineering and execution, site equipment and tool services, industrial fleet outsourcing, plant turnaround services, temporary staffing, and materials and subcontract procurement services. Its Power segment provides engineering, procurement, construction, program management, start-up, and commissioning services to the gas fueled, solid fueled, renewable, nuclear, and plant betterment markets.

The company also offers unionized management and construction services in the United States and Canada. It has a strategic partnership with E.ON Energie AG to develop a retrofitted pilot plant. The company was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. Fluor Corporation (NYSE:FLR) operates independently of Massey Energy Co. as of November 30, 2000.
Fluor Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides engineering, procurement, construction management, and project management services worldwide. Its Oil & Gas segment offers design, engineering, procurement, construction, and project management services to upstream oil and gas production, downstream refining, and integrated petrochemicals industries. It also provides consulting services ranging from feasibility studies to process assessment to project finance structuring and studies.

Consolidated Edison, Inc open vacancy


Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides electric, gas, and steam utility services in the United States. It provides electric service to approximately 3.2 million customers and gas service to approximately 1.1 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, as well as provides steam service to office buildings, apartment houses, and hospitals in parts of Manhattan. The company also provides electric service to approximately 0.3 million customers in southeastern New York and adjacent areas of northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, and gas service to approximately 0.1 million customers in southeastern New York and adjacent areas of eastern Pennsylvania.

In addition, Consolidated Edison owns, leases, or operates generating plants and participates in other infrastructure projects; sells electricity directly to delivery-service customers of utilities primarily in the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions; and provides energy-efficiency services, including the design and installation of lighting retrofits, high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment, and other energy saving technologies to government and commercial customers. The company sells electricity to industrial and large commercial customers, as well as to residential customers. Consolidated Edison was founded in 1884 and is based in New York, New York.

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) open vacancy


The Coca-Cola Company engages in the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups worldwide. It principally offers sparkling and still beverages. The company's sparkling beverages include nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages with carbonation, such as energy drinks, and carbonated waters and flavored waters.

Its still beverages consist of nonalcoholic beverages without carbonation, including non-carbonated waters, flavored waters and enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, and sports drinks. The Coca-Cola Company also offers fountain syrups, syrups, and concentrates, such as flavoring ingredients and sweeteners.

The company markets its nonalcoholic beverages under the Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, and Sprite brand names. The Coca-Cola Company also owns mineral water brands Kildevæld and Kurvand in Denmark and soft drink brand Hyvää Päivää in Finland. It sells its finished beverage products primarily to distributors, and beverage concentrates and syrups to bottling and canning operators, distributors, fountain wholesalers, and fountain retailers. The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alliant Energy Corporation open vacancy


Alliant Energy Corporation operates in electric and gas utility businesses in the United States. The company, through its subsidiary, Interstate Power and Light Company, engages in the generation and distribution of electric energy; and the purchase, distribution, transportation, and sale of natural gas in Iowa and southern Minnesota. As of December 31, 2007, it supplied electric and gas services to approximately 526,401 and 233,903 retail customers.

Alliant Energy Corporation also provides steam services and various other energy-related products and services to customers in Iowa. The company, through its other subsidiary, Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL) involves in the generation and distribution of electric energy; and the distribution and transportation of natural gas primarily in south and central Wisconsin markets.

WPL supplied electric and gas services to approximately 450,920 and 175,887 retail customers. In addition, Alliant Energy Corporation has investments in environmental consulting, engineering and renewable energy services, and transportation businesses. The company was founded in 1917 and is based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Philip Morris International, Inc. open vacancy

Philip Morris International, Inc. engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside the United States of America. Its portfolio comprises international and local brands. The company's primary international brands include Marlboro, L&M, Philip Morris, Chesterfield, Parliament, Lark, and Virginia Slims.

Philip Morris International operates in the European Union, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Its local brands principally include Bond Street in eastern Europe; Red & White in central Europe; A Hijau, A Mild, and Dji Sam Soe in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in Russia; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The company is based in New York, New York. Philip Morris International, Inc. operates independently of Altria Group, Inc., as of March 28, 2008.

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