Australia Securities Exchange (ASX) has updated its Cash Equities Clearing and Settlement Code of Practice to align with the set of Regulatory Expectations released today by the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR).
The Regulatory Expectations provide a framework for ASX’s conduct in operating its cash equities clearing and settlement (CS) services while it remains the sole provider of these services. They relate to key governance, pricing and access matters.
ASX’s core commitments under the Code, which was introduced in August 2013, remain in place. These include providing transparent and non-discriminatory pricing of and access to its CS services, and protecting the confidential information of users of its services. ASX has made additional commitments, including to retain at least 50% non-executive directors on its CS boards who are independent of ASX Limited.
Under the updated Code, the Business Committee is recognised as the primary advisory body to ASX in the operation of its CS services and infrastructure. The Business Committee has provided effective input to ASX since its inception, and consists of a wide range of cash equity clearing and settlement participants and other market operators that connect to ASX’s infrastructure.
ASX will commission an annual independent audit of its governance, pricing and access arrangements benchmarked against the Regulatory Expectations, and release the results of the audit on its website at the same time as it releases its full-year financial results, beginning in August 2017.
Amanda Harkness, ASX Group Executive, said:
ASX welcomes the clarity provided by the release of the Regulatory Expectations and the policy statement on Minimum Conditions for Safe and Effective Competition in Cash Equity Clearing in Australia. We have taken immediate steps to address these Regulatory Expectations by updating our Code of Practice.
The updated Code formalises the way in which ASX consults with those who connect to and use our clearing and settlement infrastructure. ASX is investing in market infrastructure that meets global industry standards and which will provide opportunities for productivity gains and innovation.
ASX’s investment means that the clearing and settlement of Australia’s cash equities market will continue to be efficient and competitive.”