T2S or TARGET 2 - Securities is a European initiative proposed by the European Central Bank (ECB) on 7 July 2006.
The project was officially launched on 17 July 2008 and entrusted to 4 European central banks (France, Germany, Italy and Spain). This initiative stemmed from the willingness of the European authorities to encourage the consolidation of European post-market infrastructures, specifically Central Securities Depositaries (CSDs), in order to promote better market integration and facilitate cross-border investments with reduced costs and processing delays in a secure environment.
Profiting from the successful rollout of the Target 2 platform, which deals with payments in euros between European national central banks, the ECB wanted to provide European CSDs with one single platform for processing the settlement of securities in European central bank money. Initially only the Euro zone was targeted, but the ECB quickly realised that extending the scope to other European countries would be beneficial. To this end, the T2S platform, which uses the same technical architecture as T2, centralises securities accounts of the Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) connected to T2S with their cash accounts opened with the central banks. The consolidation of the accounting environments for platform participants enables automatic settlement between CSDs, as well as simultaneous securities delivery and cash settlement.
T2S is only a technical platform and not a new CSD for Europe. As the Eurosystem only acts as a platform operator, participating CSDs and national banks remain responsible for their accounts and for supervising the processing cycle.