Oversight of central securities depositories and central counterparties

The Bank of Greece oversees the smooth and effective operation of central securities depositories (CSDs) and central counterparties (CCPs) in Greece in the context of the Eurosystem. 

Central securities depositories (CSDs) and central counterparties (CCPs) are key infrastructures of the financial system. CSDs are infrastructures for the recording, safekeeping and transfer of securities between the accounts of participants (e.g. credit institutions, investment firms, etc.). CCPs interpose themselves between counterparties in financial market transactions, assuming the role of buyer to every seller and seller to every buyer. The effective, secure and uninterrupted operation of these infrastructures contributes to financial stability and the smooth conduct of monetary policy.

The oversight of the above infrastructures at the international level is governed by the "Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures" of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) (April 2012), which have been incorporated into European Union legislation by means of: 

  • Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 (Central Securities Depositories Regulation – CSDR) and the relevant regulatory technical standards on improving securities settlement in the EU and on central securities depositories,
  • Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (European Market Infrastructure Regulation – EMIR) and the relevant regulatory technical standards on over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, CCPs and trade repositories, and
  • Regulation (EU) 2021/23 (Recovery and Resolution Regulation – RRR) and the relevant regulatory technical standards on a framework for the recovery and resolution of CCPs.

There are two CSDs established in Greece: 

  • the Bank of Greece Securities Settlement System (“System for Monitoring Transactions in Book-Entry Securities”), managed by the Bank of Greece, which has been participating since 2015 in the common, pan-European settlement platform of the Eurosystem TARGET2-Securities  (T2S), and
  • the Hellenic Central Securities Depository (ATHEXCSD) of Hellenic Exchanges - Athens Stock Exchange S.A. (ATHEX), which provides settlement services for transactions in securities and other financial instruments.

The Bank of Greece oversees the above CSDs as relevant authority under the CSDR, being the central bank in whose books the cash leg of transactions is settled and a member of the Eurosystem legally entitled to issue the euro.

In addition, Athens Exchange Clearing House S.A. (ATHEXClear) operates in Greece as a central counterparty. It provides clearing services and acts as a central counterparty for the clearing of transactions of the Athens Stock Exchange (securities and derivatives markets, as well as securities lending mechanism) and the transactions on derivatives of the Hellenic Energy Exchange (EnEx).

The Bank of Greece as a member of the Eurosystem (legally entitled to issue the euro) participates in the college established under EMIR with responsibilities for the authorization and oversight of the above central counterparty, as well as approval of extending its activities and services.

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