SEBI Circular w.r.t. Principles of Financial Market Infrastructures


CIR/MRD/DRMNP/26/2013                                 September 04, 2013


All Clearing Corporations and Depositories.

Sir / Madam,

Sub: Principles of Financial Market Infrastructures (PFMIs)


1. To promote and sustain an efficient and robust global financial infrastructure, the Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems (CPSS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published the Principles for financial market infrastructures 1 (PFMIs) on April 2012. They replace the three existing sets of international standards set out in the Core Principles for Systemically Important Payment Systems (CPSIPS); the Recommendations for Securities Settlement Systems (RSSS); and the Recommendations for Central Counterparties (RCCP). CPSS and IOSCO have strengthened and harmonised these three sets of tandards by raising minimum requirements, providing more detailed guidance and broadening the scope of the standards to cover new risk-management areas and new types of FMIs.

2. The PFMIs comprise of 24 principles (Annexure 1) for Financial Market Infrastructure to provide for effective regulation, supervision and oversight of FMIs. They are designed to ensure that the infrastructure supporting global financial markets is robust and well placed to withstand financial shocks.

3. Full, timely and consistent implementation of the PFMIs is fundamental to ensuring the safety, soundness and efficiency of key FMIs and for supporting the resilience of the global financial system. In addition, the PFMIs play an important part in the G20’s mandate that all standardized over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives should be centrally cleared. Global central clearing requirements reinforce the importance of strong safeguards and consistent oversight of derivatives CCPs in particular.

Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI)

4. The Principles apply to systematically important financial market infrastructures entities such as Central Counterparty (CCP), Central Securities Depository (CSD)/ Securities Settlement System (SSS), Payment and Settlement systems, and Trade Repository (TR) which are responsible for providing clearing, settlement and recording of monetary and other financial transactions.. The principles are international standards set forth to

a. Enhance safety and efficiency in payment, clearing, settlement, and recording arrangements,

b. Reduce systemic risk.

c. Foster transparency and financial stability and

d. Promote protection of participants and investors.

5. Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) are critically important institutions responsible for providing clearing, settlement and recording of monetary and other financial transactions. The different categories of FMIs, as identified under PFMIs, are listed below –

Payment Systems (PSS)

A payment system is a set of instruments, procedures, and rules for the transfer of funds between or among participants. The system includes the participants and the entity operating the arrangement. Payment systems are typically based on an agreement between or among participants and the operator of the arrangement, and the transfer of funds is effected using an agreed-upon operational infrastructure.

Central Securities Depositories (CSD)

Central securities depository provides securities accounts, central safekeeping services, and asset services, which may include the administration of corporate actions and redemptions, and plays an important role in helping to ensure the integrity of securities issues (that is, ensure that securities are not accidentally or fraudulently created or destroyed or their details changed). A CSD can hold
securities either in physical form (but immobilised) or in dematerialised form (that is, they exist only as electronic records). A CSD may maintain the definitive record of legal ownership for a security; in some cases, however, a separate securities registrar will serve this notary function.

Securities Settlement Systems (SSS)

A securities settlement system enables securities to be transferred and settled by book entry according to a set of predetermined multilateral rules. Such systems allow transfers of securities either free of payment or against payment. When transfer is against payment, many systems provide delivery versus payment (DvP), where delivery of the security occurs if and only if payment
occurs. An SSS may be organised to provide additional securities clearing and settlement functions, such as the confirmation of trade and settlement instructions.

Central Counterparties (CCP)

A central counterparty interposes itself between counterparties to contracts traded in one or more financial markets, becoming the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer and thereby ensuring the performance of open contracts. A CCP becomes counterparty to trades with market participants through novation, an open-offer system, or through an analogous legally binding arrangement. CCPs have the potential to significantly reduce risks to participants through the multilateral netting of trades and by imposing more effective risk controls on all participants. For example, CCPs typically require participants to provide collateral (in the form of initial margin and other financial resources) to cover current and potential future exposures. CCPs may also mutualise certain risks through devices such as default funds. As a result of their potential to reduce risks to participants, CCPs also can reduce systemic
risk in the markets they serve.

Trade Repositories (TR)

A trade repository is an entity that maintains a centralised electronic record (database) of transaction data. TRs have emerged as a new type of FMI and have recently grown in importance, particularly in the OTC derivatives market. By centralising the collection, storage, and dissemination of data, a welldesigned TR that operates with effective risk controls can serve an important role in enhancing the transparency of transaction information to relevant authorities and the public, promoting financial stability, and supporting the detection and prevention of market abuse. An important function of a TR is to provide information that supports risk reduction, operational efficiency and effectiveness, and cost savings for both individual entities and the market as a whole. Such entities may include the principals to a trade, their agents, CCPs, and other service providers offering complementary services, including central settlement of payment obligations, electronic novation and affirmation, portfolio compression and reconciliation, and collateral.

Adoption of Principles of Financial Market Infrastructures

6. All CPSS and IOSCO members are required to strive to adopt the PFMIs and implement them in their respective jurisdictions.

7. SEBI as a member of IOSCO is committed to the adoption and implementation of the new CPSS-IOSCO standards of PFMIs in its regulatory functions of oversight, supervision and governance of the key financial market infrastructures under its purview.

8. Depositories and Clearing Corporations regulated by SEBI are FMIs in terms of the criteria described above. These systemically important financial infrastructures provide essential facilities and perform systemically critical functions in the market and shall hence be required to comply with the principles of financial market infrastructures specified by CPSS-IOSCO as applicable to them. The list of SEBI regulated FMIs is provided in Annexure 2.

9. All FMIs in the securities market shall be monitored and assessed against the PFMIs on a periodic basis.

10. This circular is being issued in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11 (1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market.

11. This Circular is available on SEBI website at

Yours faithfully,

P K Bindlish
Chief General Manager
Market Regulation Department


Annexure 1

Principles for financial market infrastructures

General organisation

Principle 1: Legal basis

An FMI should have a well-founded, clear, transparent, and enforceable legal basis for each material aspect of its activities in all relevant jurisdictions.

Principle 2: Governance

An FMI should have governance arrangements that are clear and transparent, promote the safety and efficiency of the FMI, and support the stability of the broader financial system, other relevant public interest considerations, and the objectives of relevant stakeholders.

Principle 3: Framework for the comprehensive management of risks

An FMI should have a sound risk-management framework for comprehensively managing legal, credit, liquidity, operational, and other risks.

Credit and liquidity risk management

Principle 4: Credit risk

An FMI should effectively measure, monitor, and manage its credit exposures to participants and those arising from its payment, clearing, and settlement processes. An FMI should maintain sufficient financial resources to cover its credit exposure to each participant fully with a high degree of confidence. In addition, a CCP that is involved in activities with a more-complex risk profile or that is systemically important in multiple jurisdictions should maintain additional financial resources sufficient to cover a wide range of potential stress scenarios that should include, but not be limited to, the default of the two participants and their affiliates that would potentially cause the largest aggregate credit exposure to the CCP in extreme but plausible market conditions. All other CCPs should maintain additional financial resources sufficient to cover a wide range of potential stress scenarios that should include, but not be limited to, the default of the participant and its affiliates that would potentially cause the largest aggregate credit exposure to the CCP in extreme but plausible market conditions.

Principle 5: Collateral 

An FMI that requires collateral to manage its or its participants™ credit exposure should accept collateral with low credit, liquidity, and market risks. An FMI should also set and enforce appropriately conservative haircuts and concentration limits.

Principle 6: Margin

A CCP should cover its credit exposures to its participants for all products through an effective margin system that is risk-based and regularly reviewed.

Principle 7: Liquidity risk

An FMI should effectively measure, monitor, and manage its liquidity risk. An FMI should maintain sufficient liquid resources in all relevant currencies to effect same-day and, where appropriate, intraday and multiday settlement of payment obligations with a high degree of confidence under a wide range of potential stress scenarios that should include, but not be limited to, the default of the participant and its affiliates that would generate the largest aggregate liquidity obligation for the FMI in extreme but plausible market conditions.


Principle 8: Settlement finality

An FMI should provide clear and certain final settlement, at a minimum by the end of the value date. Where necessary or preferable, an FMI should provide final settlement intraday or in real time.

Principle 9: Money settlements 

An FMI should conduct its money settlements in central bank money where practical and available. If central bank money is not used, an FMI should minimise and strictly control the credit and liquidity risk arising from the use of commercial bank money.

Principle 10: Physical deliveries

An FMI should clearly state its obligations with respect to the delivery of physical instruments or commodities and should identify, monitor, and manage the risks associated with such physical deliveries.

Central securities depositories and exchange-of-value settlement systems

Principle 11: Central securities depositories

A CSD should have appropriate rules and procedures to help ensure the integrity of securities issues and minimise and manage the risks associated with the safekeeping and transfer of securities. A CSD should maintain securities in an immobilised or dematerialised form for their transfer by book entry.

Principle 12: Exchange-of-value settlement systems

If an FMI settles transactions that involve the settlement of two linked obligations (for example, securities or foreign exchange transactions), it should eliminate principal risk by conditioning the final settlement of one obligation upon the final settlement of the other.

Default management

Principle 13: Participant-default rules and procedures

An FMI should have effective and clearly defined rules and procedures to manage a participant default. These rules and procedures should be designed to ensure that the FMI can take timely action to contain losses and liquidity pressures and continue to meet its obligations.

Principle 14: Segregation and portability

A CCP should have rules and procedures that enable the segregation and portability of positions of a participant™s customers and the collateral provided to the CCP with respect to those positions.

General business and operational risk management

Principle 15: General business risk

An FMI should identify, monitor, and manage its general business risk and hold sufficient liquid net assets funded by equity to cover potential general business losses so that it can continue operations and services as a going concern if those losses materialise. Further, liquid net assets should at all times be sufficient to ensure a recovery or orderly wind-down of critical operations and services.

Principle 16: Custody and investment risks

An FMI should safeguard its own and its participants™ assets and minimise the risk of loss on and delay in access to these assets. An FMI™s investments should be in instruments with minimal credit, market, and liquidity risks.

Principle 17: Operational risk 

An FMI should identify the plausible sources of operational risk, both internal and external, and mitigate their impact through the use of appropriate systems, policies, procedures, and controls. Systems should be designed to ensure a high degree of security and operational reliability and should have adequate, scalable capacity. Business continuity management should aim for timely recovery of operations and fulfilment of the FMI™s obligations, including in the event of a wide-scale or major disruption.


Principle 18: Access and participation requirements

An FMI should have objective, risk-based, and publicly disclosed criteria for participation, which permit fair and open access.

Principle 19: Tiered participation arrangements

An FMI should identify, monitor, and manage the material risks to the FMI arising from tiered participation arrangements.

Principle 20: FMI links

An FMI that establishes a link with one or more FMIs should identify, monitor, and manage link-related risks.


Principle 21: Efficiency and effectiveness

An FMI should be efficient and effective in meeting the requirements of its participants and the markets it serves.

Principle 22: Communication procedures and standards

An FMI should use, or at a minimum accommodate, relevant internationally accepted communication procedures and standards in order to facilitate efficient payment, clearing, settlement, and recording.


Principle 23: Disclosure of rules, key procedures, and market data

An FMI should have clear and comprehensive rules and procedures and should provide sufficient information to enable participants to have an accurate understanding of the risks, fees, and other material costs they incur by participating in the FMI. All relevant rules and key procedures should be publicly disclosed.

Principle 24: Disclosure of market data by trade repositories

A TR should provide timely and accurate data to relevant authorities and the public in line with their respective needs.


Annexure 2

1. Clearing Corporations

a. Indian Clearing Corporation Ltd. (ICCL)
b. MCX-SX Clearing Corporation Ltd. (MCX-SXCCL)
c. National Securities Clearing Corporation Ltd. (NSCCL)

2. Depositories

a. Central Depository Services Ltd. (CDSL)
b. National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL)

Tags: CCPCentral Securities DepositoryInternational Organization of Securities CommissionsIOSCOOver-the-counter (finance)Payment systemSystemically Important Payment SystemsTrade Repository

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