On February 15, 2023, the SEC adopted final rules shortening the standard settlement cycle from two business days (T+2) to one business day (T+1). A shorter settlement cycle will reduce the credit, market and liquidity risks in securities transactions. The SEC previously shorted the standard cycle from three days (T+3) to T+2 in 2017 (see HERE) and at that time, and in speeches and rule making agendas since then, has consistently indicated efforts to move to T+1.
In addition to shortening the standard settlement cycle, the new rules also shorten the standard settlement cycle for firm commitment offerings priced after 4:30 p.m. from four business days (T+4) to T+2. However, the rules do allow for underwriters and issuers to agree to an alternative settlement date, which is helpful in completing the numerous closing documents and processing steps that occur between the pricing and closing of deals.
The final rules will improve the processing of institutional trades by requiring
Introduction and brief summary of the rule
On March 22, 2017, the SEC adopted a rule amendment shortening the standard settlement cycle for broker-initiated trade settlements from three business days from the trade date (T+3) to two business days (T+2). The change is designed to help enhance efficiency and reduce risks, including credit, market and liquidity risks, associated with unsettled transactions in the marketplace.
Acting SEC Chair Michael Piwowar stated, “[A]s technology improves, new products emerge, and trading volumes grow, it is increasingly obvious that the outdated T+3 settlement cycle is no longer serving the best interests of the American people.” The SEC originally proposed the rule amendment on September 28, 2016. My blog on the proposal can be read HERE. In addition, for more information on the clearance and settlement process for U.S. capital markets, see HERE.
On September 28, 2016, the SEC proposed a rule amendment to shorten the standard broker-initiated trade settlement cycle from three business days from the trade date (T+3) to two business days (T+2). The change is designed to help reduce risks, including credit, market and liquidity risks, associated with unsettled transactions in the marketplace. Outgoing SEC Chair, Mary Jo White was quoted as saying that the change “is an important step to the SEC’s ongoing efforts to enhance the resiliency and efficiency of the U.S. clearance and settlement system.” I have previously written about the clearance and settlement process for U.S. capital markets, which can be reviewed HERE.
DTC provides the depository and book entry settlement services for substantially all equity trading in the US. Over $600 billion in transactions are completed at DTC each day. Although all similar, the exact clearance and settlement process depends on the type of security being traded (stock, bond, etc.), the form the