Financial market infrastructure – a positive signal for SIX from Europe
The recently released advice of the European regulator concludes that the revised Swiss National Bank (SNB) Ordinance satisfies the requirements of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). SIX is therefore excellently placed to be able to continue to offer its clearing services within the EU.
International standards on financial transactions were tightened in the wake of the financial crisis. The result has been stricter regulation of financial markets, which the EU has also linked to additional market access requirements for non-member states. In order to retain access to the EU market for clearing services from Switzerland, the Swiss National Bank revised the National Bank Ordinance with effect from 1 July 2012. The EU regulator (the European Securities and Market Authority, ESMA) then had to decide whether the financial market infrastructure regulations in various non-member states, Switzerland among them, satisfied the requirements of EMIR as regards clearing, among other things.
ESMA published its advice on 3 September 2013. It concludes that the Swiss regulatory regime for central counterparties is equivalent to EU regulation. ESMA will now pass this advice to the EU Commission for a final decision. SIX will also submit an application by 15 September for re-authorisation from ESMA. Subject to the condition of Swiss regulation being regarded as equivalent, ESMA has 180 business days from filing of the application to issue a definitive ruling on whether SIX will again be approved as a provider of cross-border clearing services.
We are pleased to note that the positive recommendation from ESMA means SIX is one step closer towards authorisation as a provider of cross-border clearing services in the EU.