SEC Finalizes Rules to Reduce Risks in Clearance and Settlement
The Securities and Exchange Commission today adopted rule changes to shorten the standard settlement cycle for most broker-dealer transactions in securities from two business days after the trade date (T+2) to one (T+1). The final rule is designed to benefit investors and reduce the credit, market, and liquidity risks in securities transactions faced by market participants.
“I support this rulemaking because it will reduce latency, lower risk, and promote efficiency as well as greater liquidity in the markets,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Today’s adoption addresses one of the four areas the staff recommended the Commission address in response to the meme stock events of 2021. Taken together, these amendments will make our market plumbing more resilient, timely, orderly, and efficient.”
In addition to shortening the standard settlement cycle, the final rules will improve the processing of institutional trades. Specifically, the final rules will require a broker-dealer to either enter into written agreements or establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to ensure the completion of allocations, confirmations, and affirmations as soon as technologically practicable and no later than the end of trade date. The final rules also require registered investment advisers to make and keep records of the allocations, confirmations, and affirmations for certain securities transactions.
Further, the final rules add a new requirement to facilitate straight-through processing, which applies to certain types of clearing agencies that provide central matching services. The final rules will require central matching service providers to establish, implement, maintain, and enforce new policies and procedures reasonably designed to facilitate straight-through processing and require them to submit an annual report to the Commission that describes and quantifies progress with respect to straight-through processing.
The adopting release is published on SEC.gov and will be published in the Federal Register. The final rules will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The compliance date for the final rules is May 28, 2024.