Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (124)

Michael McGrath


124. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance when he plans to bring forward the migration of participating securities Bill; when the legislation will be enacted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35962/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Post-Brexit when the UK becomes a third country, under the CSD Regulation, Euroclear UK & Ireland will no longer be able to provide its services into the Irish market. 

In response to Brexit and its anticipated impact on the Irish market, Euronext Dublin (formerly the ISE) announced in October 2018 that it would transfer the settlement of trades in Irish equities and exchange traded funds from CREST, the settlement system operated by Euroclear UK & Ireland, to Euroclear Bank which is a CSD based in Belgium. 

Following discussions with Euronext Dublin, Euroclear Bank, issuers, registrars and other market participants in the broader Irish market over recent months, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and I brought jointly sought and got Government approval, in July of this year, to draft primary legislation to provide an alternative scheme of arrangement for Irish issuers to migrate. 

The enactment of this legislation entitled the Migration of Participating Securities Bill is a priority for the Government in the autumn term as part of our overall Brexit preparations and to minimise potential disruption to the Irish market and issuers from the change in settlement system.  A drafter has been assigned by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel, and the process of drafting the Bill is underway. I would note that the proposed legislation is complex and without precedent.

The Government's intention is to have the legislation in place this year. We believe that this is importnat so as to allow Irish issuers sufficient time to complete their own individual internal migration planning and hold the necessary shareholder votes during 2020.  The Industry White Paper, issued by Euroclear, envisaged all issuers will be able to confirm by November 2020 that they have taken all necessary steps to migrate to the new settlement system.  As I noted earlier, this project is a complex one and without out precedent. As such, it is wise to allow sufficient time for testing of the new systems and settlement arrangement sufficiently in advance of the EU Commission's March 2021 migration deadline.

I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government and in the Oireachtas in the coming months on this important piece of legislation so as to ensure the smooth completion of our Brexit preparations in this important area.