Settlement services - Bridge
The Bridge is the electronic communications platform that facilitates the efficient settlement of securities transactions between counterparties in Clearstream Banking Luxembourg (CBL) and Euroclear Bank (EB). Transactions for Bridge settlement can be executed both free of payment or against payment.
Eligibility of securities
Bridge transactions can only be carried out if the security is eligible for admission in both systems.
Bridge transactions settle every business days of the year with the exceptions of the 25 December and 1 January.
Bridge instructions match through the inter-ICSD matching transmissions, known as "ACE" transmissions.
The exchange of “ACE” files is a rolling matching process with Euroclear, starting at 01:55 CET with a 2 minute frequency until 21:00.
First and second layer matching
The first layer matching information and the second layer matching information are included in the matching files.
The second layer matching information is optional and matching will only be performed on the second layer information if the information is provided by both parties.
If the information is missing from one counterparty, the instructions will match on the first layer information.
If the second layer matching information is present in both customer instructions but does not match, the instructions will remain unmatched, will not be released for settlement and will be reported to customers accordingly.
First and second layer matching information can be found in Section 3.6 of the CBL Customer Handbook.
Settlement file transmissions
CBL and EB exchange files to inform each other of the eligible delivery instructions and of the evolution of the lifecycle of existing transactions.
The delivering ICSD is the ICSD proposing the delivery instructions, via the proposed delivery files, to the receiving ICSD.
The delivery files contain the delivery instructions from the customers of the delivering ICSD to the counterparties of the receiving ICSD.
The feedback files provide the receiving ICSD with the settlement status of the delivery instructions.
Settlement of eligible transactions can occur during the overnight and the daytime processing.
Bridge settlement finality
Settlement finality refers from a legal perspective to the point in time when the settlement occurred and so the transfer of the property rights in the securities are fully and unconditionally transferred and for delivery against payment transaction the relevant debit/credits made on the relevant accounts.
Reporting of instructions
If an instruction settles following the receipt of a valid feedback file from Euroclear Bank, the instruction will be reported with the existing reason code to customers in MT537 and MT548 settlement reports and associated MT94x cash reports:
PEND NARR :70D:REAS//Settled
If an instruction cannot be settled immediately and is awaiting Euroclear Bank confirmation, the instruction will be reported with the existing reason code to customers in MT537 and MT548 settlement reports and associated MT94x cash reports:
PEND NARR :70D:REAS//Awaiting EOC feedback
If an instruction is deselected from the CBL or EOC Deliveries files due to the credit policy applied by the ICSDs, the instruction will be reported with the existing reason code to customers in MT537 and MT548 settlement reports:
PEND NARR :70D:REAS// Not settled by EOC
PEND NARR :70D:REAS// Not settled by CBL (Please refer to Risk management principles below)
Customers can request a cancellation for all Bridge securities instructions already sent to CBL.
A Bridge delivery or receipt instruction cannot be cancelled or amended in the following circumstances:
- If provision has been debited from the account during the settlement processing but confirmation or refusal of the transaction has not yet been received from the counterparty;
- If it has been reported as settled via Xact Web Portal, ClearstreamXact MT536 (Statement of Transactions), MT54x and additional MT950 (Money Statement) for against payment.
Any instruction that has not been settled or cancelled remains in suspense for a period of 45 calendar days after the requested settlement date.
At the end of this period, the customer who submitted the instruction is requested to either cancel or confirm it. If the instruction is neither cancelled nor confirmed, it remains in suspense for a further 15 calendar days, after which it is automatically cancelled. If confirmation is received from the customer, the 60 calendar-day period (that is, 45 plus 15) starts over again.
Risk management principles
The two ICSDs have agreed on a set of risk management principles designed to limit their exposure to one another and eliminate systemic risk. With the introduction of these risk management principles, the receiving ICSD may be obliged to deselect a proposed delivery at the end of a settlement period. Customers are recommended to limit the countervalue of their Bridge instructions to USD 500m, to avoid this from happening.
Should this happen, the transaction concerned will be given a new status with the narrative “Not Settled by CBL” or “Not Settled by EOC”, as appropriate. It is anticipated that there will be very few instances of this kind and that, if they should arise, settlement will take place later, upon re-presentation of the securities, in the same settlement processing period. Instructions that remain unsettled at the end of the mandatory settlement period may still be settled during the optional settlement period, if flagged accordingly by both counterparties.
This status can only be applied to against payment instructions.