Case study

Euroclear UK & Ireland:

Making sure every trade is settled satisfactorily, every time


Euroclear UK & Ireland relies on BT secure messaging to ensure settlement technology is safe and sound

If you’ve concluded a multi-million pound deal, the setback you really can’t afford is for settlement to go awry because of a computer glitch.

Paul Miles knows this, and that’s why he’s glad his company, Euroclear UK & Ireland, relies on BT SettleNET for secure messaging. Since it was launched in 1996, SettleNET users have carried out billions of transactions at Euroclear UK & Ireland, and the platform’s never lost a message.

Now SettleNET is moving into the cloud, giving Euroclear UK & Ireland customers even more flexibility with the same unbeatable level of assurance.

It’s a very sound relationship in terms of how we work day-to-day.”
- Paul Miles, Joint Chief Operating Officer, Euroclear UK & Ireland


Securities transaction settlement is an exact business. Once a deal has been agreed, both parties expect delivery of the asset they acquired in the trade. That means any failure in the settlement process could end up with financial and credibility damage, and could lead to legal proceedings. The sums involved, often measured in millions, add to the need to make sure settlement processes always run smoothly and reliably every day.

Before the arrival of modern financial market technology, documents like stock certificates and transfer forms were physically moved around from one owner to another. But with the mid-1990s came the means to carry out settlement electronically. In the UK, the question was how to ensure it was as reliable as possible.


In 1996, an organisation called CRESTCo was entrusted with creating an electronic dematerialised central securities depository that ultimately covered all UK securities and Irish equities. BT was one of two organisations accredited to provide secure access to the CREST settlement system, and BT SettleNET was chosen as a secure messaging platform. In 2002, CRESTCo became part of the Euroclear group, a major provider of post-trade services, which now operates as Euroclear UK & Ireland.

By banking standards, the volume of traffic BT SettleNET has to carry for Euroclear UK & Ireland is not enormous. The system carries around 2.5 million messages a day, compared to 20 million messages a day for a typical national electronic payments system. As a market infrastructure, Euroclear UK & Ireland have a few hundred users, but the average value of each transaction contained in the messages is phenomenal. In April 2012, the average value of stock moved daily was more than £1 trillion, and the value of cash was almost £755 billion.

As BT SettleNET has been designed to offer high performance, high availability, and high security, it is a good fit for Euroclear UK & Ireland. Most important, Euroclear UK & Ireland guarantees its users that transaction settlement carried out over the CREST system will always be valid and can never be repudiated. In fact, BT securely stores SettleNET messages for 13 years in case they may be needed at some point in the future in a court of law.

At the same time, BT is continuing to develop the system further. The UK is recognised as having one of the most robust securities settlement systems on the planet, which is increasingly attractive to clients worldwide. So, BT is working with Euroclear UK & Ireland to make it more widely available internationally, by offering SettleNET as part of a broader portfolio of secure messaging technologies delivered from the cloud.


Since launch, BT SettleNET users have exchanged billions of messages to and from Euroclear UK & Ireland. Not a single message has been lost. Euroclear UK & Ireland requires BT to maintain a level of service availability which equates to just two hours’ downtime a year. And if BT suffers a site outage, it has to be able to get the infrastructure back up and running within 10 minutes.

Current developments in BT SettleNET look set to benefit Euroclear UK & Ireland further. “It is of vital importance to us that connectivity to our services is easily and widely available, and that the secure messaging infrastructure of our providers is not proprietary to Euroclear UK & Ireland, so their costs are shared broadly,” concludes Gareth Jones, head of systems integration at Euroclear UK & Ireland. “The more easily and efficiently clients connect to us, the better.”

Core BT Services

  • BT SettleNET


Case study