London Stock Exchange looks to provide a clearing service to City

THE London Stock Exchange (LSE) has entered into discussions with a raft of European and Wall Street banks about funding and building a clearing house in London, it is understood.

LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet, who took over from Clara Fuse in May last year, is thought to be at the forefront of the discussions. A clearing house ensures that trades between a buyer and seller are completed, even if one party fails to pay.

If the LSE goes ahead with the plans it will compete with European rivals Eurex, which is owned by Germany’s Deutsche Borse, and NYSE Liffe, which is the former London International Financial Futures Exchange.

The news comes amid reports that the LSE is on the hunt for a successor for its chairman, Chris Gibson-Smith But a City insider told City A.M.: “If you are asking if there is a hunt for a new chairman, the answer is no. The situation is in about two years time it is possible that Chris may decide to step down but that’s two years away. It’s pure speculation.”