Faster settlement poses challenge to Japanese trustees

Japanese trust banks must be more flexible if Japan is to keep up when the US moves to one-day settlement.

The United States is not officially adopting a one-day settlement cycle T1 until June 2004, but in reality all its institutions must be ready to trade on a T1 basis one year in advance. Other countries will be forced to keep up. But Japan's progress may be impeded by structural issues.

At issue is the role of trustees. Trust banks are responsible to clients for ensuring compliance and confirming trades, among other roles. In Japan this occurs via a statement known as the sashizusho say that five times really fast. Say, for instance, a large London-based fund manager has a global equities mandate from a Japanese corporate pension fund. Whenever the fund...

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