Italy will no longer be one of the first set of countries to go live with Target2-Securities (T2S) later this month, securing a two month extension in the wake of "strong discomfort" among its banks.
Italy's Monte Titoli was one of five securities depositories slated to go live on 22 June with T2S, the new centralised European platform for the settlement of domestic and cross-border securities transactions.
However, there have been rumblings that the T2S platform is not stable enough to go live. This caused consternation among Italian banks and reportedly prompted Monte Titoli to ask for the launch of the already much delayed platform to be put back.
While this option has been rejected, Italy has been given until 31 August to join, enabling more testing. SIA and Colt won the contract to connect Monte Titoli to T2S back in 2013.
Bank of Greece Securities Settlement System, Romania's Depozitarul Central, Malta Stock Exchange, and Switzerland's SIX SIS will all join this month, as initially planned.
In a speech, ECB executive board member Yves Mersch conceded that Italian banks had expressed "strong discomfort" but insisted: "After assessing the status of the platform - its stability and readiness for production mode - I can assure you that it is ready for the migration and launch this coming weekend."