More choice for clearing house trades

Elizabeth Fournier
EUROPE’S biggest clearing houses will this morning announce plans to offer coordinated four-way clearing to their members, in a move designed to streamline the process and improve competition.

EMCF, EuroCCP, LCH Clearnet and SIX x-clear will collaborate to offer a full clearing choice by 1 January 2012, subject to regulatory approval.

Full interoperability will be available for all traded equities on Chi-X Europe, with the exception of the Spanish market.

“This is a significant milestone for the European equities market. Full four-way interoperability has always been one of our key goals and this will further improve efficiencies in pan-European equities trading,” said Alasdair Haynes, chief executive of Chi-X Europe.

Share-trading platforms BATS Europe and UBS MTF became the first to offer clients a choice of clearing provider earlier this month, paving the way for competitors to enter the race.

Previously, Europe’s exchanges and trading platforms have only used one clearing house, forcing investors to channel trades through the associated clearing providers and paying whatever fees they demanded.

Interoperability will mean participants can win market share by allowing their clients to consolidate business and hit higher volume discounts.

“The time is now to take the next step in opening up the European clearing landscape. Interoperability will make European markets more efficient and it is a tool to open up the clearing and settlement silos in Europe,” said Jan Booij, chief executive of EMCF.