Crest wins an eleventh-hour SIB reprieve

Crest, the City's new securities settlement system, won an eleventh-hour reprieve last night when its board decided to stick to a timetable of commissioning by next April.

The board's decision, after two hours of fierce cross-questioning of executives running the project, came after pressure from the City to put back the timetable to allow a catalogue of problems to be sorted out.

The critical factor in the decision to continue the present commissioning timetable appears to have been a favourable reaction from a meeting of all the main City regulators last Friday, convened by the Securities and Investments Board.

The regulators have the power to suspend or close Crest if settlement delays threaten the financial health of securities firms. Crest was set up on the initiative of the Bank of England as a replacement for the Stock Exchange's Taurus system which was abandoned after it had cost City firms pounds 400m.

CrestCo, the company which has taken over the project from the Bank, said the regulators' meeting "recognised the concerns of market-users but acknowledged both the recent improvements in Crest performance and CrestCo's commitment to the SIB that these would be maintained and developed."

On this basis there was no need "at this stage" to make further changes to the transition timetable - beyond those made by Crest itself last month. But the SIB would "continue to monitor the situation closely".

Crest's own changes gave a six-week breathing space from 2 December to mid-January in which loading of new securities on to the system will be slowed and then halted, while keeping to the April target for completion.

Scott Dobbie, chairman of CrestCo, said the board's confidence was helped by the fact that improvements to the system introduced last Friday were "planned, promised and also worked".

Iain Saville, CrestCo chief executive, said that a survey by the Securities and Futures Authority and the Stock Exchange found that three-quarters of firms supported a continuation of the timetable.

Mr Saville said Crest's share of the settlement market had risen from 25 to 40 per cent in two weeks and that the number of settlements achieved on the day intended had risen from 60 to 70 per cent in the last 10 days, compared with the 79 per cent at the Stock Exchange's old paper-based clearing system, Talisman. Crest hoped to match Talisman by mid-January.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?