UK to move to pan-European corporate action standards

UK to move to pan-European corporate action standards

A new working group - jointly chaired by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and CrestCo - has been established to ensure UK compliance with new pan-European corporate action standards.

The move is part of the Giovannini reforms for improved cross border clearing and settlement in the EU. In its 2003 report the Giovannini Group, as advisor to the European Commission, published a report identifying 15 barriers to efficient EU cross-border clearing and settlement.

The new UK Market Implementation Group (UKMIG) will be responsible for implementing measures to remove Barrier 3 by harmonising national rules and practices relating to corporate-action processing, including distributions, shareholder rights and company reorganisations. The new standards are based on recommendations made by the European Credit Sector Associations (ECSA) and the European Central Securities Depositories Association (ECSDA).

BBA chief executive Ian Mullen, comments: "It is essential that the UK maintains its position as a prime participant in global markets and we are pleased to be playing an instrumental role in assisting industry in harmonising standards. This will ensure that issuers, market infrastructure providers, banks and their customers all enjoy the benefits of greater efficiency through a system that is harmonised to commonly accepted pan-European standards."

The UK's Department of Trade and Industry, Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Bank of England have each been invited to nominate a representative in an observer capacity.

The group will meet for the first time on 19 May.

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