Referring to her presentation as “my intervention here today”, Jennifer Robertson of the European Commission lined out a clear threat to the continent’s financial market, as represented at AFME’s Optic conference in Brussels on Tuesday. Settlement failure rates must come down, or else … 

As head of the financial market infrastructure unit, Jennifer Robertson is one of the European Commission’s most authoritative voices in the area. Her tone was partly light, joking about the audience being fans of the (actually dreaded) mandatory buy-ins which were for a long time planned for implementation with the settlement discipline regime udner CSDR just a few years ago. 

Still, her actual message was strong. The cash penalties for settlement fails, which were actually introduced with the discipline regime, have not given enough results. 

PostTrade 360 Nordic 2024

“Cash penalties are the first line of defence,” she stated. 

She contrasted the lacking results against the promises of improvement that the industry had repeatedly stated, and exclaimed that “this has to change”. 

“The alternative is and remains mandatory buyins – and I know what you all think of that,” she made clear.  

“Now you all need to do your part.” 

The yearly Optic conference, in Brussels on 17–18 October 2023, is hosted by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME). Optic stands for the “Operations, post trade, technology and innovation conference”. PostTrade 360° is there, with our coverage collected here.