Nine central securities depositories have signed up to participate in the European Central Bank's controversial Target 2 Securities (T2S) platform, which is intended to streamline securities settlement across the Eurozone.
The contract, which governs the legal relationship between the Eurosystem and each CSD participating in T2S, was finalised in November last year, after two years of protracted negotiations between the project management team and recalcitrant CSDs.
In a bid to entice depositories, the ECB offered significant price cuts to those that signed up by end-April. The nine depositories to take the bait - representing Greece, Spain, Romania, Luxembourg, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, and Clearstream in Germany - account for around two-thirds of the settlement volumes in the euro area.
Nonetheless, 22 of Europe's CSDs remain outside the agreement, with a final deadline for laggards set for end-June 2012 and a projected go-live date of 2015. As pricing is dependent upon volumes, the ECB may be facing a make-or-break moment when the June deadline passes.