The European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA) was formed in 1997 in Madrid in order to provide a forum for CSDs to exchange views and take forward projects of mutual interest. At the beginning of its activity, the work programme of ECSDA was focused on technical aspects of secure and efficient cross border settlement, through the introduction of the Eurolinks network. ECSDA has developed complete standards for cross-border settlement (free of/against payment) of securities transactions and for automated support of corporate actions, ranging from cash dividends to more complex events such as rights. In support, a model agreement was drafted to provide legal guidelines for establishing links between (I)CSDs.

Following a decision made at the SIBOS conference in September 2005, ECSDA and CEECSDA, its sister association for Central and Eastern European Securities Depositories, announced their merger into a new “ECSDA” in January 2006.

In light of the strong increase of cross border activity, the deeper awareness of risks in the settlement process, the integration process of the European capital market and the higher attention paid to high efficiency of cross border settlement, ECSDA has decided to enhance the role of the Association:

ECSDA now focuses on conducting joint work on common interest issues in European clearing and settlement and on promoting the removal of obstacles on cross border settlement . This task has to be done in close cooperation with the market participants (such as operators of exchanges and trading platforms, issuers, intermediaries) and the institutional authorities. ECSDA also aims at giving advice on legal, regulatory and fiscal matters to the European Authorities and to contributing to the decision making process which will shape clearing and settlement in Europe in the near future.