CREST REVEALED – From Paper to Automation

It has been 20 years since CREST, the real-time securities settlement system for the UK and Ireland, went live in 1996, and 23 years since the CREST project was launched by the Bank of England.

Since the time when CREST first became a glint in the eye of its creators, the system has proven, in its ongoing performance, to be one of the most important and successful systems to be introduced in the financial markets.

While CREST continues to work seamlessly in the background, it is somewhat ironic that many of today’s practitioners, academics and students of the securities industry know so little about this important component of the European post- trade infrastructure.

CREST remains state of the art in global terms; its architecture has allowed it to be developed and its capacity upgraded over the decades.

Why did CREST succeed when so many other major projects fail?
How has a system, designed at a time when today’s modern technology was still in its infancy, managed to stand the test of time and continued to underpin UK financial markets?

What impact did its introduction have in a wider context?
These are some of the key themes that are being investigated by an international team of leading academics, sponsored by: BT, CISI, Euroclear, SWIFT Institute and Travers Smith.

This industry report is an analysis of the material gathered, which relates to the research currently being conducted.