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