Assessment of relayed links between securities settlement systems in the euro area
The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided in January 2005 that relayed links may be used in the collateralisation of the credit operations of the Eurosystem (see http://www.ecb.int/press/pr/date/2005/html/pr050114_2.en.html), but only after an assessment has been carried out against the Eurosystem’s standards  to ensure that the conditions set by the Governing Council have been met. Relayed links are contractual and technical arrangements for the transfer of securities involving at least three securities settlement systems (SSSs): the “investor” SSS, the “issuer” SSS and the “intermediary” SSS.
In order to be eligible for assessment, a relayed link must be composed of two direct links that have already been assessed separately against the standards and found to be compliant. The methodology for assessing relayed links is therefore based on the methodology used for assessing direct links and deals only with the specific conditions associated with relayed links.
The five relayed links included in the first assessment, were all put forward by the German central securities depository, Clearstream Banking Frankfurt AG (CBF). In all five cases, the CREATION SSS, operated by CBF, is the investor SSS and Clearstream Banking SA Luxembourg (CBL) acts as the intermediary SSS between the various issuer SSSs and the investor SSS. The link from CREATION via CBL to CASCADE is a special case because both the issuer and the investor SSSs are located in the same country (Germany) and both are operated by CBF.
The assessment has confirmed that the operation of these relayed links and their risk management features are in principal no different from those of the underlying direct links. No specific risks have been identified in the course of the assessment which are present in the relayed links but do not exist in the underlying direct links. Consequently, the Governing Council considers all five assessed relayed links to be eligible to participate in the collateralisation process of the Eurosystem’s credit operations.
Table: List of relayed links eligible for Eurosystem credit operations
|Country||Eligible relayed links|
|Germany||CREATION (Germany) via CBL (Luxembourg) to Euroclear Nederland (the Netherlands)|
|CREATION (Germany) via CBL (Luxembourg) to the SSS of the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique (Belgium)|
|CREATION (Germany) via CBL (Luxembourg) to Oesterreichische Kontrollbank (Austria)|
|CREATION (Germany) via CBL (Luxembourg) to Monte Titoli (Italy)|
|CREATION (Germany) via CBL (Luxembourg) to CASCADE (Germany)|
 “Standards for the use of EU securities settlement systems in ESCB credit operations” EMI/ECB 1998. http://www.ecb.int/pub/pdf/othemi/sssstandards1998en.pdf