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FinTech and market electronification
Technology is reshaping the way financial markets operate. FinTech, a term broadly used to describe innovation in financial services enabled by technology has attracted much attention among market participants, regulators and policy-makers alike.

ICMA’s engagement spans (i) primary markets, (ii) secondary markets, and (iii) repo and collateral markets, with a focus on market electronification ie the use of technology across the securities lifecycle. While the level of adoption of technology solutions varies in each of those areas, the advent of cutting edge technologies such as distributed ledger technology or artificial intelligence has the potential to impact market practice and market structure significantly.

FinTech and market electronification are addressed through ICMA’s various committees, working groups and work streams as well as through bilateral discussions with member firms and technology providers. ICMA seeks to mainstream relevant FinTech developments and market electronification through all of its initiatives, activities, and fora.

Primary markets:

The Primary Market Practices Committee (PMPC) gathers the heads and senior members of the syndicate desks of ICMA member banks active in lead-managing syndicated bond issues in Europe. A dedicated subgroup on Primary Market Automation was set up in 2015 to address FinTech developments beyond general PMPC deliberation on an ad hoc basis.

The Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) Committee comprises the heads and senior members of the ECP teams of those ICMA member banks who are the main dealers in the ECP market.

The Corporate Issuer Forum (CIF) gathers senior representatives of major corporate issuers and focuses on discussing market practice and regulatory topics related to the debt capital markets.

The Financial Institution Issuer Forum (FIIF) gathers the heads or senior members of the capital raising, funding and treasury departments of ICMA member firms active in capital markets issuance in Europe.

Secondary markets:

Under the umbrella of the Secondary Market Practices Committee (SMPC), two dedicated working groups are in place:

The Electronic Trading Working Group (ETWG), which comprises buy-side and sell-side heads of fixed income trading or market structure.

The Platform Working Group (PWG), which brings together non-market makers ie brokers and broker-owned Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs), exchange-owned MTFs and “Organised Trading Facilities (OTFs)”.

Repo and collateral markets:

The ERCC Ops FinTech Working Group was set up in 2016 by members of the Operations Group (Ops) of the ICMA European Repo and Collateral Council. 


The Asset Management and Investors Council (AMIC) is a forum which brings together senior members of ICMA’s buy-side constituency.


Gabriel Callsen
Associate, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0334


October 2017
Market electronification and FinTech

July 2017
ICMA’s engagement on market electronification and FinTech
FinTech: Government bonds in Kenya

January 2017
Bond trading market structure and the buy side

April 2016
Evolutionary change: The future of electronic trading of cash bonds in Europe


Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT): DLT, often referred to as Blockchain, has stirred a lot of interest and enthusiasm across the financial industry. Although discussions are still at a very early stage, DLT is believed to have the potential to substantially change the way financial markets are operating today, promising important cost savings and efficiency gains, in particular in the post-trade space.

ETP Mapping Directory: In light of the shift towards electronification, ICMA conducted a mapping exercise of electronic trading platforms (ETPs) and information networks. This initiative resulted in the ETP Mapping Directory, a single source of information on currently over 30 infrastructure providers, which is updated on a regular basis and covers all cash bond classes.

ICMA Ops FinTech mapping directory: ICMA’s ERCC Ops FinTech Working Group (WG) has published a mapping directory of over 100 technology solutions available for repo and cash bond operations. The directory is divided into 10 categories including collateral management, exposure agreements and reconciliations. It provides information on how each solution can be used, for example at which stage of the trade lifecycle, whether for cleared or uncleared transactions and where the solution sits within the IT infrastructure. The directory is intended to be a living document and will be updated on a regular basis.


Gabriel Callsen
Associate, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0334