9 February 2023

Cecabank addresses the challenges and trends in the post-trading sector and the evolution of digital assets

Cecabank has organised the 9th Securities Services Conference, the most important Spanish forum for the post-trading industry, with the participation of banks, fund managers, supervisors, regulators and technology companies

Experts have addressed current challenges in the face of operational, regulatory and digital changes, decentralised finance, European post-trading projects or the new landscape for pension plans

MADRID, 9 FEBRUARY 2023.- Cecabank, the Spanish wholesale bank that offers specialised services in securities, treasury management and payments, has brought together the Spanish post-trading industry at the 9th Securities Services Conference, held under the title ‘A vision of the future for the new challenges faced by post-trading’ in the Reina Sofía Museum Auditorium.

During the event, numerous national and international experts from public bodies and private companies analysed the impact of regulatory, operational and technological changes on the collective investment industry in front of 240 professionals from more than 160 financial sector entities.

Montserrat Martínez Parera, Deputy Chairwoman of the CNMV, intervened at the opening ceremony, highlighting that: "Post-trading activity in Spain is in very good health. Technology presents us with an environment of disruptive change in which we all need to reflect on the implications in terms of opportunities, risks and market performance".

Santiago Carbó, independent director at Cecabank and Director of Financial Studies, and Executive Director of the Financial Digitalisation Observatory at Funcas, declared during the introduction that: "The new financial environment, with inflation and higher interest rates, is creating significant new challenges for the financial sector in general, and Securities Services in particular, at a time when savers are changing their expectations and readjusting their investment portfolios".

The conference included two round tables and two presentations. The first debate, moderated by Aurora Cuadros, Corporate Director of Securities Services at Cecabank, entitled 'Risks and benefits of decentralised finance: the role of blockchain in the financial industry', featured Francisco del Olmo, Deputy Director in charge of Fintech and Cybersecurity at CNMV, Ana Santillán, Head of Sales at Fireblocks for Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Portugal, Gloria Hernández, Partner at Finreg 360, and Diego Villafranñez, consultant to the Technical Cabinet of the General Secretariat of the Treasury and International Finance of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. In the words of Aurora Cuadros: "The crypto business is currently undergoing a phase of refinement and settlement, but its pace of deployment is exponential, with more and more players participating and challenges still to be addressed".

The second round table, "Key developments and reflections on Securities", featured Valentín Cerdán, Markets and Special Operations Manager at CaixaBank, Jesús Benito, CEO of Iberclear, BME, and Javier Ruiz del Pozo, Director of the Department of Secondary Markets at the Directorate General of Markets of the CNMV, and was moderated by Virginia Linares, Director of Coordination and Control at the Securities Services Division of Cecabank. The thoughts shared at the round table invite, on the one hand, and one year after the entry into force of the new Settlement Discipline, to take stock of the progress made in terms of settlement efficiency and, on the other hand, and looking towards the future, to share an overview of the main regulatory developments, both at international and at a more local level: the improvement in securities settlement and central depositaries (CSDR) and mandatory buy-backs, the disappearance of PTI within the framework of the so-called Reform 3, or a potential shift to T+1, to shorten the settlement cycle by one day.

The agenda was completed with two presentations. Miguel Tahares, Senior Market Infrastructure Expert at the ECB, discussed ‘Eurosystem projects in the field of post-trading: current and future status of TARGET Services’. During his presentation he provided a closer insight into the work undertaken by the ECB in the field of post-trading and, more specifically, in the development of the market infrastructures operated by the Eurosystem: the TARGET Services; he also recalled some of the milestones attained in 2022. The last talk focused on ‘The new environment for occupational pension plans’ by Manuel Ángel Álvarez, consultant to the Office of the Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, who explained that: "The regulatory reform of occupational pension plans is a necessary modernisation that facilitates their growth and extension in companies, the self-employed and territorial administrations".

Finally, during the closing ceremony, José María Méndez, CEO of Cecabank, emphasised the bank's commitment to values such as sustainability and good corporate governance: "We believe that this industry has a critical role to play in promoting better governance. Well before the entry into force of SRD2, we have been facilitating voting for our customers in more than 70 different markets. We offer Proxy Voting services that have become an industry benchmark and, like many of our other value-added services, represent the difference between a good custodian and a custodian that aspires to excellence, at each and every stage of the Securities Services value chain".

Cecabank, a benchmark custodian bank in Spain and Portugal

 Cecabank is the leading custodian bank in Spain and Portugal, and a specialist provider of financial, payments and technology services. Its differential position is based on its independence, given that the bank does not belong to a retail banking group, and on its neutrality, as it actively collaborates with fund managers on regulatory, operational and business aspects, providing a guarantee not to compete with its customers. Both qualities make Cecabank the leading independent national depositary for collective investment institutions, pension funds, voluntary contribution pension schemes and venture capital firms in Spain, holding in excess of €202,000 million under deposit from almost 50 fund managers, and the leading national provider of settlement and custody services with more than €275,000 million of assets under custody. These figures reflect Cecabank's robust growth over the past ten years, thanks to the bank's high degree of specialisation, the constant inclusion of innovation and digitalisation processes in the business, and the generation of value for customers and society.


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