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Has the EU Code of Conduct for market infrastructures delivered measurable benefits for users?
The landscape of clearing and settlement in Europe has changed considerably over the past eight years. Starting with the Lamfalussy and Giovannini reports, which prioritised work in the post-trading sphere, a number of initiatives have developed — most notably, the Code of Conduct for Clearing and Settlement for market infrastructures. The three pillars of the Code — price transparency, access and interoperability, accounting separation and unbundling — were given staggered implementation deadlines over the year December 2006 to December 2007. The Code has not, however, been fully implemented. Significant benefits have been seen in lower tariffs and fees, and clarity over cross-subsidisation of services, but true pan-European price comparability remains elusive. In terms of access and interoperability, 82 requests between market infrastructures have been made, but only one has been granted and none are operational. Greater involvement of users is needed to prove the business case of links. Bilateral discussions between market infrastructures have provided a forum to progress these issues. This paper outlines the history leading up to the development of the Code, looks at the implications of the Code and assesses whether or not it has been a success.
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