The Bank of England supervises three main types of FMI:
- recognised payment systems
- central securities depositories
- central counterparties (CCPs).
The Bank of England supervises three main types of FMI:
We supervise FMIs because financial markets rely on the continuity of the services they provide. Well-functioning FMIs improve the stability of markets and the wider financial system.
For example, businesses need payment systems to receive payments for goods and services. People also rely on them to receive salaries and benefits. Central securities depositories allow equities and bonds to be held and sold. Central counterparties guarantee that transactions will be honoured if a party defaults on a trade.
We supervise a range of different financial market infrastructure systems:
The Bank recognises the following CCPs:
Certain non-UK CCPs are permitted to offer clearing services in the UK until the end of 2023 under the Temporary Recognition Regime (the TRR). The list of non-UK CCPs that have notified the Bank that they will offer services in the UK under the TRR is below.
The Bank recognises the following central securities depositories:
Register of CSDs Opens in a new window authorised to offer services in the UK.
Certain non-UK CSDs are permitted to offer CSD services in the UK under the Transitional Regime (TR) until they are permanently recognised under the UK CSDR. The list of non-UK CSDs that have notified the Bank that they will offer CSD services in the UK under the TR is below.
The Bank recognises the following systems designated under the Settlement Finality Regulations:
Certain EEA systems receive temporary UK settlement finality protection under the Temporary Designation Regime (TDR) of the Financial Markets and Insolvency (Amendment and Transitional Provision) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (as amended) until they receive ‘steady state’ designation. The list of non-UK law systems that have notified the Bank that they wish to receive UK settlement finality protection under the TDR is below.
The Bank recognises the following operators under the Uncertified Securities Regulations Opens in a new window Opens in a new window (as amended Opens in a new window):
This section should be read in conjunction with the page providing information on the effect of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on FMI supervision. Firms are required to take notice of changes made to legislation referenced in this section to understand what requirements they need to meet.
We published our approach to supervising FMIs in 2013. It sets out our objectives and our expectations of the FMIs, and how we will assess the FMI against these objectives. Further changes have been made since the issuance of the Bank’s approach document mentioned above and are documented in The Bank of England’s supervision of financial market infrastructures – Annual Reports. In 2018 the Bank published its approach to supervising service providers to recognised payment systems specified under the Banking Act 2009.
On 13 November 2017, the Bank of England commenced the direct delivery of the CHAPS service. Delivery of CHAPS will be supervised by the Bank’s Financial Market Infrastructure Directorate to the same standards as other systemically important payment schemes.
On 21 June 2021, the Bank of England published a Discussion Paper on its approach to undertaking supervisory stress testing of CCPs. The Bank will undertake its first public CCP supervisory stress test over 2021-22.
We work with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and overseas regulators to supervise FMIs. We have signed two memoranda of understanding, one with the FCA on supervising FMIs, and one with the FCA, PSR and PRA which covers the supervision of payment systems specifically. Our standards for supervising FMIs are framed by the international CPSS/IOSCO principles for financial market infrastructures.
There are different legal regimes for central securities depositories, clearing houses (including central counterparties), payment systems and systems designated under the Settlement Finality Regulations.
Some systems may be subject to requirements under more than one regime.
Central securities depositories must meet the requirements of the Uncertificated Securities Regulations 2001 (as amended) (USRs) as operators in order to operate a system supporting the electronic transfer of titles to UK securities.
Central securities depositories are also regulated under Part 18 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) as recognised central securities depositories.
They must comply with the requirements and obligations set out in Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR)). CSDR has been onshored and amended by:
Central securities depositories may also be regulated under the Banking Act 2009 if the payment arrangements supporting it constitute a recognised payment system.
Recognised clearing houses and central counterparties (CCPs) are regulated under Part 18 of the Financial Services and Markets Act and are subject to the recognition requirement regulations in the Act.
Recognised clearing houses that are CCPs must comply with the requirements and obligations set out in Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)). EMIR has been onshored and amended by:
The Bank of England may publish principles and codes of practice for recognised interbank payment systems, under the Banking Act 2009. The Act provides us with a graduated set of tools to help us supervise recognised payment systems. It also requires us to publish a policy on financial penalties.
For recognised payment systems, we have adopted the global standards drawn up by central banks and securities market regulators in the CPSS/IOSCO principles for financial market infrastructure as principles. The Bank of England has also published a code of practice on governance that applies to some recognised payment systems.
We have published a Policy Statement, Supervisory Statement and operational resilience chapter of the Code of Practice for Recognised Payment System Operators (RPSOs) and Specified Service Providers (SSPs).
One RPSO, CLS, has been assessed against the criteria for excluding a RPSO or SSP from the Code of Practice about the Operation of Recognised Payment Systems – both the governance part of the Code of Practice (Part 1, Article 1.2) and the operational resilience part of the Code of Practice (Part 2, Article 1.2). Our assessment concluded that the specified criteria are currently met with respect to CLS, therefore we have decided not to apply the requirements of Part 1 and Part 2 of the Code to CLS at this time.
The Settlement Finality Regulations allow payment and settlement systems to apply for certain protections against normal insolvency law in respect of transfers through their systems. To receive these protections, systems must meet the criteria set out in the regulations and be designated by the relevant authority.
The Bank has published its approach to oversight of designated systems not subject to UK law.
Information on how non-UK FMIs may apply to become a recognised financial market infrastructure and receive UK settlement finality protection is available here.
Payment systems need to contact HM Treasury to discuss recognition, although the process can also be initiated by the Treasury. They will then be supervised by the Bank of England.
The Treasury has published a guidance note on the recognition process.
There is no standard application form for recognition as a recognised clearing house that is not a central counterparty (CCP). Section 288 of the Financial Services and Markets Act Opens in a new window Opens in a new window specifies some details of what must accompany an application. Prospective applicants should contact the Bank of England at an early stage for advice.
There is no standard application form for overseas CCPs seeking a recognition order under 170B of the Companies Act 1989 Opens in a new window Opens in a new window. Prospective applicants should contact us at an early stage for advice.
Firms wishing to become a recognised overseas clearing house should contact us at an early stage for advice. Firms can no longer apply for recognised overseas clearing house status if they are a CCP.
A UK firm can apply to the Bank to be a recognised CSD under the onshored Regulation (EU) No 909/2014 of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 July 2014 on improving securities settlement in the European Union and on central securities depositories (as amended) ( UK CSDR), if it intends to provide CSD services in the UK.
UK CSDR and the associated Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) lay down the requirements an applicant must meet and information that must accompany the application.
Prospective applicants may wish to contact us at an early stage for advice on the practical aspects of an application.
Payment and settlement systems can apply for certain protections against normal insolvency law under the Financial Markets and Insolvency (Settlement Finality) Regulations 1999 Opens in a new window (as amended). This guarantees that financial instruments and payments which enter into such systems are finally settled, even if the sender has become insolvent or transfer orders have been revoked.
To receive these protections, systems must meet the criteria set out in the Settlement Finality Regulations and be designated by the relevant authority, which is the Bank of England for all entities other than recognised investment exchanges.
There are different application processes for different types of FMI. UK law private systems should contact the Bank directly by emailing SFD-Enquiries@bankofengland.co.uk.
On 4 June 2020, the Bank of England wrote to all regulated UK financial market infrastructures and specified providers requesting that, when considering the distribution of profits they pay close attention to the additional risks and potential operational and financial demands arising in the current environment from Covid.
Under article 31 of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) as onshored, those proposing to directly or indirectly dispose of, acquire or increase their qualifying holding in a UK CCP must first notify the Bank of England. Anyone who fails to comply with this obligation or who provides information to the Bank which is false in a material particular is guilty of a criminal offence under Regulation 15 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (Over the Counter Derivatives, Central Counterparties and Trade Repositories) Regulations 2013 (SI/2013/504).
Anyone proposing to dispose, directly or indirectly, of a qualifying holding in a UK CCP is required to notify the Bank of England in writing before making the disposal. They are also required to notify us of a decision to reduce a qualifying holding so that the proportion of the voting rights or of the capital held would fall below 10%, 20%, 30% or 50%, or so that the CCP would cease to be their subsidiary.
You must send these details by email to FMIInformation@bankofengland.co.uk.
The email should include:
Anyone who wishes to acquire or increase, directly or indirectly, their qualifying holding in a UK CCP or to further increase such a qualifying holding with the result that their voting rights or capital held reaches or exceeds 10%, 20%, 30% or 50%, or so that the CCP would become their subsidiary, must first contact the Bank of England for approval.
If the proposed acquirer is not a body corporate, please contact us by email at FMIInformation@bankofengland.co.uk to discuss the form of the notification.
We have a pre-notification stage which is designed to help those proposing to acquire or increase a qualifying holding in a CCP to understand the process and to submit a complete application.
We recommend that you contact us at FMIInformation@bankofengland.co.uk to discuss whether a pre-notification meeting is necessary. You can submit a notification without contacting us first, but this increases the likelihood of your application being incomplete.
The Director, Financial Market Infrastructure Directorate, Bank of England, 20 Moorgate, London EC2R 6DA.
The Central Securities Depositories Regulation Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window (CSDR) (as onshored) introduces a requirement that firms that carry out settlement activity outside central securities depositories (CSDs) report data quarterly on this activity to the Bank of England. This requirement, which is contained in Article 9 of the legislation, applies as of July 2019.
In November 2018, the Bank, with the help of the PRA and FCA, wrote to UK firms to ensure that they were aware of the requirement. We also asked them to complete an online survey (list of questions available here) and to provide contacts details for further, direct, communication. We contacted firms identified as having either, or both, of the following regulatory permissions, specified in Article 40 Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window of the Regulated Activities Order Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window, which are more relevant to carrying out settlement internalisation activities:
Details about the timeline and the onboarding process for internalised settlement reporting are available below.
If your firm has not been contacted, and you think your firm will need to report settlement internalisation activity, please email InternalisedSettlement-Enquiries@bankofengland.co.uk.
Financial market infrastructures are critical to a stable financial system. Systems should contact their supervisors in the first instance if they have any issues. In the event of a member problem, you should also email us at UK-SFDNotifications@bankofengland.co.uk to support the settlement finality notification obligations.
The purpose of the industry insolvency protocol is to promote a clearer understanding of the regime (set out in Part VII of the Companies Act 1989) and the responsibilities of central counterparties (CCPs) and insolvency practitioners (IPs) in the event of a default in relation to an insolvent clearing member. The protocol is non-binding and sets out the mutual understanding of the IPs and CCPs as to procedures that they consider would be desirable to be followed in such a default event.
The protocol includes:
The protocol is relevant for participants in central clearing including CCPs, clearing members and their clients; relevant authorities such as the Bank, HMT and the FCA; IPs; and any other party that may consider itself impacted by the default of a clearing member.
Whistleblowing is when someone reports suspected wrongdoing at work. You can make whistleblowing disclosures about financial market infrastructures to the Bank of England.
To make a disclosure, email email@example.com or telephone +44 (0)20 3461 8703 or write to Bank of England (Legal Directorate - IAWB), Threadneedle Street, London, EC2R 8AH.