ICE Clearing Europe Approved as Third Country CCP by ESMA

The firm will be able to provide services to clients in the EU even if there is a no-deal Brexit

Intercontinental Exchange announced on Monday that ICE Clear Europe, its London-based subsidiary, has been approved by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as a third-country central counterparty (CCP) in accordance with the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).

ESMA’s approval of ICE Clear Europe as a CCP means that the company will be able to continue providing its services to companies based in the European Union, even if the UK leaves the political body without a deal.

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“We are pleased to receive this recognition, which means that ICE Clear Europe can continue to service all its clearing members and customers, including those based in the EU, in the event of the UK leaving the [EU] without a withdrawal agreement,” said Finbarr Hutcheson, President of ICE Clear Europe.

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“We thank the European Commission, Bank of England, and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) for its work securing this recognition and, in doing so, removing any uncertainty around the ability of EU-based market participants to access ICE Clear Europe.”

EMIR will live on, Brexit or no Brexit

EMIR requires all over-the-counter derivatives trading to be cleared by an approved CCP. Any CCP operating outside of the EU has to be approved as a “third country CCP.”

As with almost every financial services firm operating in the UK today, ICE was likely fearful that it would not be able to provide clearing services to its clients in the EU once Brexit has, at long last, been completed.

ICE Clearing Europe is not the only CCP based in the UK to have been given third country CCP approval by ESMA. On Monday, the regulator also said that it had given the green light to LME Clear and LCH to continue working with European clients even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal next month.

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