Industry ready for ‘defining moment’ of T2S

Wave three of T2S is set to take place on 12 September with Euroclear’s CSDs migrating to the new settlement system.
By Paul Walsh
The upcoming third wave of Target2 Securities (T2S) will define the whole success of the project, according to one industry expert.

Tom Casteleyn, head of product management for custody, cash and FX at BNY Mellon, feels that wave three will be an indication of whether the project, which was initially proposed in 2006 and has since cost over €450 million, will be a success.

Wave three of the project including Euroclear’s ESES markets (France, Netherlands and Belgium) and CSDs in Denmark and Luxembourg is set to migrate on 12 September.

This wave represents a quarter of the overall volumes migrating onto the platform.

“Wave three represents a tipping point which will enable the market to evaluate whether the T2S project justifies the investment companies have made in the platform,” said Casteleyn.

“A critical mass of settlement volume is scheduled to go live on 12 September 2016, providing the first meaningful picture of the project’s capabilities.”

Casteleyn comments echo those made by State Street’s MD Swen Werner who suggested that the project is about to see a ‘big bang’.

Since its initial inception by the ECB in 2006, T2S has been hit with a number of delays to the implementation calendar.

Initial delays to Italy’s Monte Titoli CSD along with Euroclear announcing in October 2015 that it required more time to ensure safe migration has led some industry commentators doubting whether the overall project will be a success.

Casteleyn also feels that wave three migration will reveal whether wave four, which includes Cleasrtream’s German CSD, will be successful.

“The industry will soon need to focus on the significant challenge of migrating Clearstream’s CSD in Germany – the project’s largest market – in wave four. Wave three must run smoothly to ensure settlement volume isn’t pushed back to later waves and avoid stretching capacity too far.”