Author: Irina Bussoli

ECSDA Enhances Governance and Aligns Articles of Association with Belgian Company Code

ECSDA Enhances Governance and Aligns Articles of Association with Belgian Company Code

In a strategic move, during its General Meeting on Friday, 24 November 2023, ECSDA undertook significant changes to fortify its governance structure and bring its Articles of Association in line with the Belgian company code.

Governance Restructuring for Enhanced Efficiency
One of the notable changes includes the establishment of a more streamlined Board, comprising a maximum of 14 members (versus 30 in the past). This adjustment aims to enhance overall organizational efficiency and to align it with the best governance and decision-making practices.

Introduction of the Senior Council
To bring extensive expertise to the table for defining the CSD industry strategy, ECSDA has introduced a Senior Council of the CSD Industry, comprised of seasoned professionals known as Senior Advisors, and may invite experienced non-CSD observers to join its meetings.

These changes underscore ECSDA’s commitment to bolstering its leadership in driving the harmonisation and innovation of financial market infrastructure, rendering financial markets safer and more efficient in Europe and beyond.

Implementing these decisions, ECSDA will conduct Board elections, nominations to the Senior Council, and consideration of relevant non-CSD observers in the first half of 2024.

Link to the New ECSDA Articles of Association.

ECSDA welcomes Verðbréfamiðstöð íslands as a new member

ECSDA welcomes Verðbréfamiðstöð íslands as a new member

We are delighted to announce that the recent general meeting, held on 24 November, marked the inclusion of a new member to the ECSDA family — Verðbréfamiðstöð Íslands hf. The ECSDA team is thrilled to welcome them aboard and looks forward to a fruitful collaboration.

With the addition of Verðbréfamiðstöð Íslands hf., ECSDA reaches a milestone of 40 Central Securities Depository (CSD) members. This achievement underscores our commitment to fostering a strong and diverse community within the European CSD landscape.

We extend our warmest greetings to Verðbréfamiðstöð Íslands hf. and are excited about the collaborative endeavors that lie ahead. Together, we will continue to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of securities depositories across Europe.

ECSDA publishes its Settlement efficiency considerations

ECSDA publishes its Settlement efficiency considerations

In November, one year and a half after the implementation of the Settlement Discipline Regime, the ECSDA Settlement Working Group is releasing this discussion paper to share its preliminary analysis about the main root causes of settlement fails in Europe, as far as visible at the level of CSDs and reported through a survey by their participants. The intention is to share some initial recommendations to improve the settlement efficiency in Europe.

The deep attention of CSDs to settlement efficiency is driven by one of their main missions which is to support market efficiency and financial stability. Settlement fails stand in the way of efficiency by generating undue costs, creating further frictions for the connected transactions and ultimately being a driver of systemic risk. If a participant is expecting to receive securities or cash on the intended settlement date but is not receiving them because of a settlement fail from its counterparty, there is a risk that the affected participant is also unable to meet its obligations with other counterparties. That might result in a potential “domino effect” and be a cause of systemic risk.

However, in our view, allowing for a lower level of fails is preferable to aspiring to full efficiency, as it might lead to an unreasonable level of rigidity in financial markets and result in high costs (for pre-funding in addition to the necessary ecosystem technology upgrades). A certain level of tolerance is instrumental to the well-functioning financial markets aspiring for high levels of liquidity and settlement velocity.

This paper is, therefore, looking at how to reduce the number of fails, while not reducing the volume and value of transactions to be settled.

Read the full document.

ECSDA Responds to Faster and Safer Relief of Excess Withholding Taxes EC Consultation

ECSDA Responds to Faster and Safer Relief of Excess Withholding Taxes EC Consultation

On 18 September, The European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA) welcomed the European Commission’s Proposal for a new EU system for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax abuse in the field of withholding tax. We salute the intention of the proposal to simplify the procedures for claiming cross-border withholding tax relief and eliminate tax barriers.

We reiterate our support for the Directive and would like to express our commitment to continue engaging in further enhancements of the proposal. In the below brief response, our intention is to contribute to the concerns that require thoughtful consideration to foster a more streamlined,
efficient, and inclusive financial market. Further refinement is indispensable in our view to ensure that the proposal reaches its objective.

The tax barriers have been highlighted in a variety of post-trade industry reports as a major impediment to the proper functioning of the Capital Markets Union (CMU), the free movement of capital and the prevention of tax abuse faced by financial investors and intermediaries.

We particularly acknowledge the directive’s objective to build standardised digital tax residence certificates (eTRC), common reporting obligations, and standardised processes and timeframes for “at source’ and ‘quick refund’ procedures that are all aligned with ECSDA’s vision for a more
efficient, transparent, and user-friendly market.

For decades, the disparities in withholding tax procedures among the EU Member States have created significant barriers to cross-border capital flows, hindering, together with other inefficiencies, the creation of a truly integrated Capital Markets Union. By proposing a common framework to streamline and digitalise withholding tax procedures on cross-border investments, the FASTER directive attempts to address these barriers. In the digital age, transitioning from paper-based procedures to a more efficient and unified system is imperative. ECSDA is keen to support this transformative journey towards harmonisation leveraging on the expertise of its members in this field.

For this purpose, ECSDA has identified some aspects of the EC proposal requiring careful consideration to ensure that the FASTER directive effectively meets its objectives. In particular, we identified the following areas:

  • Role of CSDs as CFI;
  • Financial instruments in scope;
  • Technical aspects related to relief at source and quick refund.

Read the full response

ECSDA Response to the IOSCO Policy Recommendations for Crypto and Digital Asset Markets Consultation Report

ECSDA Response to the IOSCO Policy Recommendations for Crypto and Digital Asset Markets Consultation Report

Today, 31 July, ECSDA responds to the IOSCO Policy Recommendations for Crypto and Digital Asset Markets Consultation Report.

ECSDA welcomes the overall direction chosen by IOSCO in its consultation while at the same time suggests a way forward that may further enhance its Recommendations.

We look forward to the final report in the coming months.
Read the full answer

ECSDA recruits a Governement & Public Affairs Adviser

ECSDA recruits a Governement & Public Affairs Adviser


The European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA) represents 39 national and international central securities depositories (CSDs) across 35 European countries. Central Securities Depositories are financial market infrastructures of crucial importance for EU and global financial stability. The association provides a forum for European CSDs to exchange views and take forward projects of mutual interest. It aims to promote a constructive dialogue between the CSD community, European public authorities, and other stakeholders aiming at contributing to an efficient and risk-averse infrastructure for European financial markets. You can find more about ECSDA, on its website and Youtube channel.

Our offer

The successful candidate will help develop the Central Securities Depositories’ position in a variety of relevant areas, searching for the alignment of members in sensitive regulatory areas, providing advice to the European (European Commission, Parliament and Council as well as ESMA) and National Competent Authorities on the regulation of CSDs, interacting with international organisations such as IOSCO, Financial Stability Board, OECD and others, and steering higher level of alignment and coherent implementation of the legislation across our Members.

The Public and government relations adviser will be in regular contact with the Chairs of the ECSDA Policy and Compliance working groups and will report directly to the Secretary General of the association.

We may explore a contract with a self-employed/independent consultant, on an invoice basis. In such a case, we may have certain flexibility on the location of the individual, within the remit of the EU. We may also explore a contract under Belgian law with an attractive package. In such a case, the candidate must have the legal right to work in Belgium. Part-time can be considered.

We are particularly looking for a candidate capable of diplomatic steering of consensus and development of a convincing and factually correct argumentation line in English.

The position is open immediately.

Tasks of the Adviser

  1. Help ECSDA Members, Board and Secretary General to identify the political priorities and design the positioning of the association in the changing regulatory environment by stimulating discussions of the association members;
  2. Organise the work of the ECSDA Policy and Compliance Working Groups (WGs) and related Task forces in the areas of the chosen priorities by, together with members, identifying the key legislative initiatives, with help of the members input, responding to the relevant consultation, drafting proactive thought leadership papers and helping in organising events in support of these activities;
  3. Follow-up on the Working group meetings by drafting summaries and taking action on the agreed decisions;
  4. Answer member queries on the relevant European legislation;
  5. Coordinate coherent implementation of legislation by European CSDs;
  6. Help steering industry standardisation in the relevant areas (such as agreement on the methodologies and frameworks for a coherent pan-European implementation, such as recently in the areas of Anti-money laundering);
  7. Produce research analysis based on data collected from members.

Technical skills and experience

  • You have working experience within an international association, a law firm or a public affairs consultancy firm (ideally specialised in financial services), a financial institution or a market infrastructure, or relevant other area (our offer will be adjusted);
  • You have exceptional writing skills and spoken English;
  • You have a master’s degree in law, economics, or political sciences (although an exception can be made for a candidate having additional experience and qualities).

Soft skills

  • You are proactive and capable of operating autonomously, and have an independent mindset;
  • You are a self-starter, ready to take ownership, solution-driven and client-focused, creative and going an extra mile;
  • You are assertive and diplomatic at the same time;
  • You have some project management skills and apply them to yourself and in your work with others, disciplined and have strong organisation skills and an eye for detail;
  • You can quickly build relationships with stakeholders.

How to apply
Please send your application via email (to addressed to the attention of Anna Kulik, Secretary-General of ECSDA.

The deadline for applications is 31 August.

The application must contain the following:

  • A CV in English;
  • A cover letter in English specifying why you would like to join ECSDA.
ECSDA Webinar on ISO messages for financial transactions

ECSDA Webinar on ISO messages for financial transactions

On 4 July, from 10.00 to 11.30 CET, ECSDA held a webinar on ISO messages for financial transactions.

Together with the broad stakeholder community of industry associations in Europe and globally, as well as other Financial Market Infrastructures, CSD participants, and relevant market stakeholders and authorities, ECSDA would like to discuss the evolutionary path of the Securities Messaging standards.

The Programme of the webinar includes:

  • Opening remarks by Anna Kulik, ECSDA Secretary General
  • Presentation of the ECSDA considerations on ISO messages for financial transactions by Jean-Paul Lambotte, Chair of ECSDA Messaging Task Force, Director at Euroclear, Product Management, Digital Communication Interfaces – presentation slides
  • Open discussion with participants