DTCC’s automated electronic Certificate of Deposit (e-CD) service has helped the industry make great strides towards dematerialization of physical certificates in its first year.
Related: Recapping the 2022 Asset Services Forum
Since its launch last year, almost 75% of all newly issued retail Certificate of Deposits (CDs) are now leveraging the e-CD platform via DTC’s Underwriting Central (UWC) application. Industry adoption of e-CDs has resulted in the successful dematerialization of more than 20,000 physical certificates, a considerable milestone for DTCC.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic really emphasized the importance of moving away from physical certificates to mitigate risk and cost,” said Ann Marie Bria, DTCC Executive Director, Asset Services Business Management. “For our CDs, it is critical that our issuance process be streamlined and our documents easily accessible for our clients.”
The digital UWC provides seamless access to certificate data and streamlines the underwriting process, allowing issuers to create, sign and deliver CDs within hours, instead of days or weeks.
The new platform leverages electronic vaulting technology to transmit and store data, as well as an e-signature process to execute digital certificates, providing enhanced automation for CD eligibility and issuance processing, and ultimately providing more seamless delivery of these assets to the accounts of end clients. It also represents an important step in bringing the industry closer to achieving full dematerialization.
“In the early days of the ‘work-from-home’ situation, it was impossible to access physical certificates that were needed for day-to-day transactions,” said Giselle Borrego, Director of Underwriting, DTCC. “With the e-CD platform, master certificates are available via a digital database, literally on demand.”
Aside from the success of e-CDs, less than 1% of assets serviced through the depository are still held in physical form. However, this still represents a value of around $700 billion dollars. Efforts are underway to address other paper-based asset classes at their issuance, as well as existing securities that are eligible at DTC.
“We are hopeful that someday we can say there is no more paper in the vaults, but until then we will continue partnering with our clients to develop innovative physical processing solutions,” explained Bria. “We believe the success of the dematerialization of e-CDs will open the way for dematerialization expansions to other DTC security issues and IPOs.”