Becoming a Clearstream client

The Clearstream Group operates the German CSD, Clearstream Banking AG (CBF), and an ICSD, Clearstream Banking S.A. (CBL), hereinafter referred to as “Clearstream”. Account opening processes follow some acceptance criteria that are detailed below.

Eligible entities

With regard to the definition of the requirements to become a participant in Clearstream, please refer to its General Terms and Conditions (GTCs), which are applicable to the services provided by Clearstream in its capacity as CSD or ICSD.

The following categories of entities may only be eligible in Clearstream as participant or “Client” within the meaning of the article 1 of the GTCs:

  • Banks and Credit Institutions;
  • Non-Bank Financial Institutions;
  • Sovereigns and Supranational Institutions;
  • Trading venues and Central Counterparties;
  • Legal Persons that are listed or subsidiaries of publicly listed companies;
  • Alternative Investment Vehicles1;
  • Special Purpose Vehicles and Unincorporated Entities.

Note: (i) Clearstream does not accept natural persons as clients and no account will be opened in the name of a natural person. (ii) Clearstream’s admission policy is not applicable to issuers. Even though issuers are granted access to Clearstream in accordance with Article 49 of the CSDR, they are not admitted as a participant/client within the meaning of the article 33 of the CSDR. The admission of issuers is subject to a separate process. 

Prohibited persons

The following persons are prohibited from entering into an account relation with Clearstream for legal reasons:

  • Residents of any territory that is not recognised by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg;
  • Residents of any country that is the subject to country – wide sanction programmes of the EU or of third countries which form a part of the CSD’s network of correspondents, including depositories, custodians, agents, CSDs and cash correspondents;
  • Residents of any country that is the subject to a “call to action” by the FATF Task Force.
  • Shell banks – any bank operating without physical presence;
  • Shadow banks defined as entities which carry out credit intermediation but are not credit institutions and which are not regulated as credit institutions;
  • Natural persons;
  • Non-Participating Foreign Financial Institutions under FATCA (NPFFIs)2;
  • Limited Financial Institutions under FATCA;
  • Local Foreign Financial Institutions under FATCA (Local FFIs);
  • Passive Non-Financial Foreign Entities (NFFEs) with substantial US owners.

Requirements for admission

The admission and participation criteria are determined by the Client and Access Acceptance Policy (attached below).

Documentation required

Documentation required for both Clearstream Banking AG and Clearstream Banking S.A.

  • Client Application Form (CBL) (CBF);
  • Account Application Form (CBL) (CBF);
  • A complete and up-to-date list of the applicant company's authorised signatories with specimen signatures;
  • The Articles of Association (or appropriate substitute);
  • The Banking License or Business License (as a professional of the financial sector);
  • The extract of the Company's Register;
  • Latest Annual Report (for subsidiaries, an annual report of the parent company for the previous financial year has to be provided);
  • FATCA self-certification form, duly filled in and signed.

Additional documentation required for Clearstream Banking S.A.

  • US Patriot Act certification (if applicable);
  • Detailed report on the company by a recognised rating agency (if applicable);
  • VAT number (mandatory only for clients based in the European Union).

Additional documentation required for Clearstream Banking AG

  • The "Invoicing" form;
  • The "Appointment of an agent in Germany" form, duly filled in and signed (only applicable for clients whose registered office is located outside of Germany).

Know your customer – Anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing

In addition to the documentation detailed above, and to ensure that Clearstream meets its know-your-customer requirements, for both CBL and CBF, applicants should submit the following documents:

  • Identification documents of significant shareholders (if applicable);
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing questionnaire (if applicable);
  • Comfort letter from the AML-regulated parent (if applicable);
  • Declaration of beneficial ownership of funds (if applicable).

Applications from financial institutions are reviewed by Clearstream’s credit and compliance departments and will be submitted for final approval respectively to the Executive Board for CBL and CBF clients.

Please follow the link below to obtain account opening forms and for copies of our governing documents or contact your Relationship Manager for further information.

Decision on admission or refusal

Clearstream will notify in writing whether the applicant has been accepted.

Criteria that restrict access to the CSD are limited to those the objective of which is to justifiably control a specified risk for the CSD. In its reasonable discretion, where practicable, the CSD may consider as an alternative to a denial of access, restricting access to ancillary services, or products that are subject to additional risk assessments as set out below and other controls.

If Clearstream refuses the access, Clearstream shall inform the applicant of the decision taken and the reasons of such refusal and the procedure of appeal.


1. Alternative Investment Vehicles or Foreign Alternative Investments Vehicles are eligible to participate in CBL only.

2. Applicable to CBL only.