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US Reduces Settlement Timeframe from T+3 to T+2 Effective Immediately

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The US T+2 Industry Steering Committee has achieved its objective of reducing settlement time to trade data plus two days (T+2) for securities including US equity, corporate and municipal bonds, and unit investment trust trades. The settlement cycle was last changed in 1995 from T+5 to T+3 and brings the US in line with the EU, which moved to T+2 settlement in January 2015.

The steering committee was set up by DTCC in 2014 and is co-chaired by the Investment Company Institute (ICI) and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma). The reduction in settlement time is expected to reduce market and counterparty risk, increase financial stability and improve safety and efficiency for investors and market participants. The alignment of the US settlement timeframe with other major markets that use T+2 settlement also provides a step towards global settlement harmonisation.

The SEC finalised rule changes to facilitate the shorter settlement cycle in March 2017, and nine other regulators and self-regulatory organisations have also taken action. DTCC estimates the lower levels of risk associated with a shorter settlement cycle will reduce the average daily capital requirements for clearing trades through its DTCC National Securities Clearing Corporation by approximately 25%, or $1.36 billion.

Murray Pozmanter, head of clearing agency services and global operations and client services at DTCC, comments: “The US move to a T+2 settlement cycle marks the most significant change to the market’s settlement cycle in over 20 years. A collaborative industry-driven effort with strong support from regulators, the T+2 initiative has achieved its common goal.”

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