Based on data collected in the first half of 2016, it appears that only 4 of the 41 ECSDA members have no links at all with other CSDs. Another 4 CSDs have no “outbound links” to other CSDs, but they allow foreign CSDs to access their domestic market (so-called “inbound links”). The remaining 33 CSDs have at least one link with another European CSD.
If we set aside the three CSDs which maintain an unusually high number of links (Euroclear Bank, Clearstream Banking Luxembourg and SIX SIS), European CSDs have on average 7 links to other CSDs. The number is even higher for CSDs established in the EU (8.5 links on average).
The majority of CSD links (44%) are direct links whereby a CSD is a direct participant in another CSD. Indirect links (whereby assets are held via an intermediary acting as sub-custodian) and relayed links (whereby assets are held via a “middle” CSD) account for 32% and 24% of the total number of links respectively.
Around 2/3 of CSD links allow for settlement on a delivery versus payment basis, meaning that not only securities but also cash transfers are possible through the link. Finally, 51% of CSD links are used on a daily basis by market participants.