ATHEXCSD granted a CSD license; CSDR implementing Law due to come into force on 12 April 2021 and omnibus accounts to become available with ATHEXCSD for the first time

30/03/2021

ATHEXCSD recently received a licence as a CSD from the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) by virtue of decision No 6/904/26.2.2021, in accordance with the new regulatory requirements of the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (EU) 909/2014 (CSDR). This will trigger the entry into force of the Greek Law 4569/2018, which was introduced in order to align the Greek framework with the provisions of CSDR. The above decision of HCMC and the Law 4569/2018 will come into force on 12.04.2021.
Until recently, the Greek legal framework for securities in book-entry form, with the exception of Greek Government Bonds, was operating according to the direct holding model, where dematerialised securities were held in segregated securities accounts, directly at the level of ATHEXCSD. As a result, there was no commingling of assets of various investors and the concept of “omnibus securities accounts” even though not alien to the domestic market, was not regulated either. Against this background, the most significant innovation of the new CSDR implementing legal framework is the introduction of the concept of “omnibus securities accounts”, as well as the new organisational requirements for CSDs and their obligation to offer their clients the choice between omnibus segregation and individual client segregation. The new law terminates the monopoly of ATHEXCSD, as any other firm that may wishes to provide settlement services in Greece may apply to HCMC for a license. The total reform of the framework of the depository system affects certain participants in the market including CSDs, issuers and holders of securities, as well as market intermediaries. The recording of securities in book-entry form is also to be provided for non-listed companies for the first time (it was exclusive for listed companies until now).

Needless to say, all market intermediaries will need to adapt to these new conditions.