Financial Market Infrastructures, a Case of “Ethics Without Ethics”


Louis de Diesbach


8th edition (2020/2021)


Ethics / Regulation

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The role of Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) as Financial Market Infrastructures (FMIs)

Within the financial sector, there is an array of actors. They include retail and corporate banking organisations, payment companies, wealth management entities, trade repositories, custodians, securities settlement systems, and central banks. Within this diverse ecosystem, Euroclear Bank and Clearstream, both based in Europe, operate as the only international central securities depositories (ICSDs) in the world. The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) also plays a major role in this financial ecosystem, although it is not an ICSD. These three institutions ’ core activities are transaction settlement, asset servicing and collateral management, in addition to being a securities repository. Such activities make them, like all CSDs, a Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI), which has been defined “as a multilateral system among participating institutions, including the operator of the system, used for the purposes of clearing, settling, or recording payments, securities, derivatives, or other financial transactions.” (BIS and IOSCO, 2012). 

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