Brussels-based depository Euroclear has launched phase one of its pan-European single settlement engine (SSE) at its French operations.
Euroclear France went live with the engine on 29 May, while Crest is expected to be launched in late summer and Euroclear Bank before the end of the year.
The SEE consolidates five Euroclear group settlement platforms into one and will process cross border trades submitted by the Euroclear France, Crest and Euroclear Bank legacy systems.
The SEE was originally slated for introduction in 2005, but in 2004 Euroclear pushed the timetable back by a year and recruited Accenture as one of two strategic sourcing partners to manage the project.
Pierre Francotte, CEO of Euroclear SA/NV, says: "We are delivering on our promise to create a 'domestic market for Europe' where cross-border settlement and custody will be as low in cost and risk as in domestic markets."
Following the establishment of the SEE, the depository will gear up to launch the Euroclear Settlement for Euronext-zone Securities (ESES) platform in late 2007 which will process both domestic and cross-border fixed-income and equity trades in the Belgian, Dutch and French markets.
Euroclear will then enter the final phase of consolidating all legacy systems on to a single platform. Starting with custody-related processing in late 2008, all key components of the single platform are scheduled to be completed by 2009.