Crest hammers out penalties

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The Independent Online
Officials from Crest, the City's new automated share settlement system, are to meet with the City's regulatory bodies early in the new year to hammer out a standardised way to levy penalties on firms which miss settlement dates for deals.

The penalties are likely to take the form of fines but could also involve naming firms which are persistent offenders.

Crest is aiming to persuade the regulators, such as the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) and the recognised investment exchanges, such as the Stock Exchange, to agree that deals struck on their exchanges are subject to Crest rules.

"If we can get all the regulators and the recognised investment exchanges to agree to their members or contracts being subject to Crest settlement discipline it will make it more effective and give it more clout," said Paul Symons, manager of Crest.

While Crest aims to have the new procedures in place by April or May, the Exchange is planning temporary rules.

Richard Kilsby, director of market services at the Exchange, told compliance officers "We support Crest's intention to introduce [a disciplinary regime] across all its participants and believe that such a regime should be at least as effective as the 'buying-in' process operated under Talisman."

The temporary measures include a pounds 10 fine for deals which are seven days beyond their intended settlement date but the fine can reach pounds 25,000.