Switzerland’s Competition Commission has authorised the proposal made by SWX Group, SIS Group and Telekurs Group to merge into a new entity called Swiss Financial Market Services, on condition that the European Code of Conduct on Clearing and Settlement (CoC) is adhered to.
The Code of Conduct was signed by the SWX Swiss Exchange, virt-x Exchange Ltd., SIS x-clear AG and SIS SegaInterSettle AG in 2006. The three companies say the conditions are in line with their commitment to an open architecture with free access to trading, clearing and settlement.
The European Code of Conduct governs the following areas:
1. Price transparency; this is intended to ensure comparability of prices and services.
2. Standardised unilateral access between organisations and interoperability; these allow the involved organisations to establish links with each other and increase the market participants' freedom of choice.
3. Unbundling of services and separation of accounting; these measures increase competition, widen the range of options that are available to customers and provide relevant information on the services that are on offer.
4. Monitoring of activities along the value chain; this guarantees observance of the principles laid down under Points 1-3.
The SWX Group and the SIS Group announced their adherence to the European Code of Conduct in a joint media release of 7 November 2006.