Last week, on September 5, 2017, the securities industry successfully implemented a shortened settlement cycle for most securities transactions, pursuant to amendments to Rule 15c6-1 that the Commission adopted earlier this year. The move to a two business day standard settlement cycle – or T+2 – was the product of extensive preparation and coordination among regulators and industry. This change represents a significant milestone for the securities markets – the standard settlement cycle was last shortened in 1995 when it moved from five business days to three business days. The first transactions covered by the amended rule settled on September 7, 2017.
The benefits of a shortened settlement cycle extend throughout the financial sector. The shortened settlement cycle, which was largely enabled by advances in technology, should reduce certain risks in the clearance and settlement process, including credit, market, and liquidity risks for central counterparties, their members, and other market participants. It also should enhance efficiency by promoting innovation and changes in market infrastructures and operations.
“Last week’s transition to a T+2 standard settlement cycle represents a significant accomplishment,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “Going forward, investors and other market participants will be able to receive the proceeds of their securities transactions one day sooner, thereby enhancing the overall efficiency of the U.S. securities markets. I would like to thank my colleagues, including Commissioners Piwowar and Stein and the staff of the Commission, for their leadership in achieving this important result.”
“Last week, the U.S. securities markets terminated the outdated T+3 settlement cycle and successfully implemented T+2,” said Commissioner Michael Piwowar. “I applaud the Commission staff and market participants for achieving a smooth transition to a new environment that provides greater efficiency and less risk to the American people.”
“The shortened settlement cycle benefits investors and contributes to the resiliency of our securities markets,” said Commissioner Kara Stein. “I look forward to future collaborative efforts as we work together to further enhance our market structure.”
If you have additional questions about this transition to the T+2 standard settlement cycle, the Commission will continue to maintain the previously-established e-mail address – T2settlement@sec.gov – for the submission of inquiries to SEC staff.