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«Vladislav Pavlát University of Finance and Administration, Prague, Czech Republic Institute of Finance vladislav.pavlat ON FINANCIAL MARKETS ...»

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Studia Ekonomiczne. Zeszyty Naukowe

Uniwersytetu Ekonomicznego w Katowicach

ISSN 2083-8611 Nr 226 · 2015

Vladislav Pavlát

University of Finance and Administration, Prague, Czech Republic

Institute of Finance



Summary: The main aim of this paper is to present a characteristic and an analysis of

the important role of financial markets infrastructures (FMIs) in the world economy. Actually, the word “infrastructure” is frequently used, however the existing definitions differ. In the first part of the paper, a brief survey of literature on this subject is given. As a result, two characteristics of the FMI are presented and analyzed. In the second part of the paper, an outline of actual theory of FMIs – with a description of its recent history – is highlighted. The third part gives a survey of FMIs regulation. In the fourth part, the role of FMIs in the world economy is dealt with.

Keywords: financial market, financial market infrastructure.

Introduction The aim of this paper is to characterize the financial markets infrastructures (FMIs), the elements of FMIs theory, FMIs regulation, and FMIs role in the world economy. These problems are very topical: they are discussed and researched by many researchers and institutions (Joint Forum, FSB, IOSCO, BSBS etc.). According to our working hypothesis, first, the IOSCO actual definition of the phaenomenon “FMIs” has to be preferred for practical use in regulatory practice; second, second, FMIs regulation have to correspond to financial markets regulations; and third, FMIs are systemically important for financial The paper has been prepared as part of a project financed by the funds for specific university research. Project name: Regulation of the financial market infrastructure – goals, possibilities, and potential impact – Vysoká škola finanční a správní, o.p.s. (University of Finance and Administration). Project number: 7427.

Vladislav Pavlát markets smooth working. The first three parts of paper are mainly based on description of the FMIs elements; part four brings a brief synthetic view on selected research results about the FMIs role in the world economy.

1. The meaning of the words “infrastructure” and “financial market infrastructures” From the semantic point of view, the meaning of the word “infrastructure” is very clear: an infrastructure is “something” (= a structure) which is below (= infra) “something else (= below another structure). However, this explanation is too general, and rather “empty:” it fits to anything – and nothing.

If we consult different dictionaries and/or encyclopaedias, we are surprised by the manifold meanings of this word, and unexpectedly the word is no more “empty”, but “full” of almost endless different meanings. According to different dictionaries (quoted by Wikipedia), the word “infrastructure” stems from England: since (at least) 1927, the original meaning of this word was “The installations that form a basis for any operation or system [www1].” Id est: the installations are “bellow” something else.. According to the Oxford English Dictionary [www2], the word “infrastructure” was applied in the military sense. In this sense, the word was used by NATO (after 1940). Later on, the word was adopted by urban planners (since 1970). In the 1980s, the word was used in connection with the discussion of the nation´s “infrastructure crisis”. A different approach to the use of the word “infrastructure” is the so called “branch approach” in an economic sense. The actual definition of the word “infrastructure” which can be found in one of the Czech dictionaries is the following: the infrastructure is “A set of branches performing economic and social systemic functions [www3]”.

Most FIMs definitions (derived from the above general meaning of the word “infrastructure”) are branch definitions. For research uses we proposed a “broad” FMIs definition. Financial markets do not function in a vacuum – they operate within a specific time and place. Therefore, they require certain conditions to operate, referred to as the “financial market infrastructures”. In this regard, the financial market infrastructures can be defined as follows: 1) As a set of material-technical conditions, required for the functioning of financial markets;

2) As a set of activities, which must be performed to allow trading of financial assets on the financial markets; and 3) As a group of institutions and organizations necessary for smooth operation of financial markets [Pavlát, 2013]. Our definition represents an application of FM theory and belongs to the “academic” definitions.

On financial markets infrastructures 37 In the actual regulatory practice, a “narrow” FMIs definition is used. The IOSCO Technical Committee defines the financial markets infrastructures as “a multilateral system among participating financial institutions, including the operator of the system, used for the purposes of recording, clearing, or settling payments, securities, derivatives, or other financial transactions [CPSS – IOSCO, 2011].” According to the IOSCO definition, 5 basic types of the financial market infrastructures are distinguished: 1) Payment systems (PS); 2) Central securities depositories (CSD); 3) Securities settlement systems (SSS); 4) Central counterparties (CCP); 5) Central electronic databases of electronic transactions (Trade Repositories -TR) [CPSS-IOSCO, 2012].

Payment systems (PS) are the first component in the classification of the financial market infrastructures. A payment system may be viewed as a network of relationship between/among institutions, instruments, rules, work procedures, standards, and technical measures that allows financial payments in economy.

Parties to transactions may settle their mutual payment obligation via a payment system. A central securities depository (CSD) is a financial institution, which retains securities (e.g. shares, bonds, etc.) in materialized (paper) or dematerialized (electronic) form in a manner that allows their owners to dispose of such securities (i.e. transfer them to other owners, use them as collateral in securities trading, etc.). Today, most depositories also provide services in the area of the securities transaction settlement, clearing, etc. In many countries, national securities depositories tend to be traditionally linked to stock exchanges. In addition to national central securities depositories, there are also international central securities depositories. In the IOSCO classification, such depositories are referred to as the securities settlement systems (SSS). The term central counterparty (CCP) tends to be used in a situation, where the clearing financial transactions of one party to a transaction/dealing are ensured by a single – “central” – institution.

A trade repository (TR) keeps centralized electronic records of transactions with off-exchange (OTC) financial derivatives.

The concept of the financial market infrastructures defined by IOSCO focuses on the systems and institutions that affect the financial market directly; the basis for this focus is the effort aimed at limiting the financial risks of entities entering the financial market.

The above mentioned classification newly classifies individual components of the financial market infrastructures; these components had previously been viewed independently, but nowadays they are viewed as a structured system. This new approach resulted from the problems invoked by the last global financial crisis.

Vladislav Pavlát To resume: The new systemic approach to the financial market infrastructures means that individual FMIs have to be viewed as a structured system, i.e.

individual components must be interconnected by consistent regulations and measures, differentiated for various groups of entities entering the financial market, for different financial products, as well as for different types of financial risk (counterparty risk, liquidity risk, newly systemic risks as well).

2. Selected elements of the FIMs theory

2.1. The emerging FMIs theory (which is derived from the FM theory) consists of the following main elements: firstly, FMIs definition; secondly, qualitative features of FMIs; thirdly, FMIs typology and classification. These three basic elements can be used as starting-points to the analysis of the fourth necessary element, i. e. the general patterns of development of modern FMIs. In the economic literature, the content and scope of FMIs is differently defined by representatives of different economic schools, according to the main paradigms of these schools. This – inter alia – means that by different schools the same qualitative features of the same parts of financial infrastructure are differently ranged and classified. For example, the “human factor” is excluded or included.

Since the 1960s, a long-lasting discussion on the meaning of the word “infrastructure” (which was understood as a general term applicable in all fields) was going on in continental Europe. One of the most recognized German authors in his analysis of the “infrastructure” – Prof. Reimut Jochimsen – in his functional definition of infrastructure distinguished between material, institutional and personal infrastructure2. By many authors his classification of infrastructure was considered to be useful [Buhr, 2003].

In Keynesian economics, the word infrastructure was exclusively used to describe public assets that facilitate production, but not private assets of the same purpose. In post-Keynesian times, however, the word “[…] has been applied with increasing generality to suggest the internal framework discernible in any technology system or business organization [www4].

2.2. In the literature, a variety of approaches to the infrastructure classification is used. Some of the authors distinguish the so-called “hard” and “soft” inR. Jochimsen´s definition: „[…] infrastructure is defined as the sum of material, institutional and personal facilities and data which are available to the economic agents and which contribute to realizing the equalization of the remuneration of comparable inputs in the case of a suitable allocation of resources, that is complete integration and maximum level of economic activities [Jochimsen, 1966]”.

On financial markets infrastructures 39 frastructures. However, many other possibilities exist. FMIs can be distinguished, for example, according to the (a) branch of financial services or securities industry, (b) the entities rendering services to different FMIs types, (c) the type of activities, (d) the geographical dimension, (e) the size of entities (f) private and public participation, (g) legal or shadow character, etc.

2.3. Generally speaking, FMIs development mainly depends on the financial

markets development. However, the relation of FMIs and FMs is more complex:

The changes of FMIs – on one side – are mostly caused by FMs development, but – on the other side – changes of FMIs elements frequently have an impact on further development of FMs. And even more than that: as both FMs and FMIs are complex structures, composed of different parts, some of these parts (on both sides, i.e. on the side of FMs and/or FIMs) develop more quickly than other parts. This uneven development of different parts (FMs and FIMs) is the cause of structural changes in different elements of both, i. e. there is a mutual relation of FMs and FIMs – they influence each other.

If the above reasoning is correct, it is possible – without much hesitation – to assume that with growing volume of financial markets the FIMs services volumes are growing as well. With a growth of division labour and specialisation, financial market will specialize: different financial market segments are created.

The development of such specialised market segments leads to creation of new parts of FIMs. Let us remind, for example, the changing infrastructure of financial derivatives. This means that complexity both of financial markets and financial markets infrastructure will be growing. The rate of this growth will mainly depend on external factors – on material, technological or intellectual innovation.

As for the last 10 – 15 years, both financial markets and their financial infrastructures were influenced by the gigantic development of computers and information technology which were applied on the field of FMs and FIMs. This development was neither smooth, nor equal. During the last two decades, the “leaps” – caused by changes of technology – were the prevalent form of progressive development FMs and FMIs.

For this period, a disproportional development of FIMs was characteristic:

in different market segments and in different countries, the structure of FIMs did not correspond to the existing specific needs. A striking example of how such disproportions can be surmounted is the African “big leap” on the field of information technology and media – in Africa, the 21st century co-exists with medieval and ancient primitive structures, but financial markets located in big cities are working, because they were able to apply the modern FIMs. There is a general tendency which consists in the rapid growth of high-tech in the FIMs which Vladislav Pavlát requires the specialised personnel in all financial market segments to be employed, and, correspondently, in almost all financial markets infrastructures as well [Pavlát, 2013a].

To resume: there is a strong interdependence between the FM and FMIs development; therefore, the actual existing elements of FMIs theory are derived from the FM theory.

3. FIMs regulation

If the world FMIs have to be able to minimalize the impacts of the next potential financial and economic crises, it is quite clear that FMIs have to be appropriately monitored, overseen, and regulated. The next paragraphs are discussing some selected problems of FMIs international regulation.

At present, there are a great number of international organisations, institutions and other international bodies involved in activities connected with the international regulation of FMIs as a whole, or of their different components. As the world FM is regulated, FMIs have to be regulated as well – both at the national and the international levels.

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