Settlement process - Spain


Settlement cycles

Equities or equity-related instruments (settled through ARCO):T+2 or M+2
Public debt (generally agreed by parties but same-day possible) and corporate bonds (settled through CADE):T+2
Latibex market:T+2

Note: Transfer of ownership is done on T.

Settlement flow

Iberclear-CADE (private and public fixed income securities)

The Securities Register System is structured in two levels: the Central Registry managed by Iberclear and a detailed registry in charge of the participants.

In the Central Registry, the following accounts are opened for each participant and security code:

  • An account for securities registered in their own name and;
  • "Third party account" or "client account", where securities are registered globally.

The system input deadline varies per type of account. For a direct participant with its own account, the Iberclear-CADE platform runs three local settlement cycles for value settlement date (SD).

SD-1:A first settlement cycle is run in the evening of SD-1 with an overnight finality at 07:00 on SD.
SD:A real-time settlement cycle is carried out on a rolling gross settlement basis during SD from 07:00 until 16:00 with immediate finality.
Note: The own account market deadline is 16:15.
End of Day:A third settlement cycle (also known as the “End of Day Cycle“) runs in the afternoon of SD starting at 17:00 with finality at 18:00 SD. On this cycle, the system tries to settle all the pending transactions that could not be settled during the first cycle or in the real-time period.

Third-party/client accounts may benefit from the above cycles by entering settlement instructions up to 16:00 SD. No input of transactions for third party accounts will be allowed after this time; however, transactions that remain pending in the system after the deadline will continue to be considered for settlement during the remaining time of the real-time settlement cycle and in the End of Day Cycle.

Iberclear-ARCO (Equties and warrants)

There is no separate protocol for inter-broker clearing, as the Spanish clearing takes into consideration only broker-custodian settlement. There are two settlement procedures:

  • Trades declared in the Stock Exchange. On-exchange trades are always against payment and contractual settlement (T+2) is applied.
  • “Traspaso” (over-the-counter). Traspaso trades can be executed free of or against payment, however,  because additional movement of shares and funds must be performed between the depository and the clearing banks, there is no guaranteed settlement period.

The ARCO platform offers both settlement in cycles and in real-time.

Real-time settlement:

a) Against payment trades: from 07:00 to 16:00;

b) Free of payment trades: from 07:00 to 18:00.

The settlement of transactions that settle via real-time procedure will take place every 8 minutes.

Settlement in cycles:

Free and against payment trades: from 08:00 to 15:00. There are five cycles: at 08:00, 10:00, 11:30, 13:00, 15:00. In addition, there is one cycle at 14:00 (only for bilateral transactions free and against payment not cleared through a CCP) or 15:45 (for existing last resort loans) and 17:00 (only for bilateral transactions free of payment not cleared through CCP).

1. Iberclear has an additional settlement cycle (“ciclo de repesca”) that allows the matching of trades from 15:00 to 15:45 whenever a Spanish custodian has a last resource loan in the market. Therefore, if Iberclear opens this extra settlement cycle, transactions that settle in cycles can be settled as of that time if the delivering party has sufficient position (Iberclear will start to send settlement confirmations after 15:45 for those trades that are matched from 15:00 to 15:45).

Stock loans and free of payment trades settlement instructions are considered for settlement throughout the value of settlement day and up to 19:00 on SD.


There is no registrar in the market but ownership details are compulsorily recorded upon purchases in the market.

The securities register system is structured in two levels:

  • The Central Registry, managed by the CSDs, Iberclear, SCLV Barna Deuda and SAC Bilbao, of the securities balances for own and third-party accounts of all market participants’; and
  • A detailed registry, managed by the participants, of securities registered by holder's name.

Operations are always identified by a trade number assigned to a purchase or new issue resulting from a change of securities ownership. Iberclear communicates this number to the participant, who must keep it as a reference to facilitate later exchanges of information regarding the operation in question or for the solution of any incident or claim.

The number of the operation (known as the register reference, RR) has a single structure of 15 digits and, in the case of a Stock Exchange trade, it is supplied by the Stock Exchanges themselves, as the source of the operation.

Re-registration procedures apply to transactions in listed corporate bonds, equities, rights and warrants that use the Non-"Rapport” (OTC) procedure.

Transfers between accounts other than Stock Exchange trades can only be executed by performing a “put-through” (that is, by selling in one name and buying back in another). This procedure will result in the cancellation of the old RR and creation of a new RR.

Re-registration (“put-through”) is executed upon prior agreement by the parties involved and normally takes three business days.

As ETFs "put-throughs" function as a limit order per leg of the "put-through" and not as a simultaneous buy and sell, as for other instruments, there may be a risk of non-completion of both legs of the "put-through".

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is not applicable in the Spanish market.



Short-selling is not allowed. Iberclear-ARCO enforces short-selling penalties based on a date comparison of the registered references (RR) being delivered to cover sales. An RR issued from a stock loan prior to 15:00 on T+2 and used to cover a sale must be dated prior to or on trade date.

If sales are covered by securities (i) bought after trade date or (ii) on loan with newly issued “on loan” RRs timed after 15:00 on TD+2, Iberclear charges a penalty of one per 1000 of the gross sale amount for each day that passes between the trade date and that of the registered reference (RR) that justifies the sale.

Iberclear will settle the short sale at short selling price or purchase price, whichever is the lower (nivelación).

Iberclear's centralised lending and borrowing system

Iberclear, in its ARCO system, operates a “no fails” regime, guaranteed by an automatic lending and borrowing system, also known as a Centralised Lending System.

The system is triggered if the seller fails to deliver the securities to the buyer on T+2, in which case, Iberclear delivers the securities available from the Centralised Lending System to the buyer. On T+4, the loaned securities must be returned, to avoid the initiation of a buy-in.

Iberclear charges the cost of the loan to the seller that has failed to deliver the securities in order to remunerate the lenders at a pre-established interest rate. The charges applicable to the borrower are calculated on the cash value of the trade, including an interest rate of 50% of the average EONIA rate published by the Bank of Spain (from the 16th of the previous month to the 15th of the month) with a minimum rate of 2% accrued daily until the reimbursement of the loan.

Iberclear charges these fees (also known as “late settlement fees”) to its participants in their monthly invoice.


Buy-in’s are only applicable to on-exchange trades cleared by the CCP and being settled via the Iberclear-ARCO platform.

Participants selling securities must deliver them to Iberclear-ARCO no later than 15:00 (local time) on T+2 (SD). After this time,  the market will automatically endorse the last resort loan procedure. The defaulting party must then return the loan by SD+4. If by then the loan is not returned, a Buy-in will be initiated by Iberclear which will settled on SD+5. However in case there is no possibility in the market for a last resort loan the buy-in will be initiated by Iberclear already at T+2 (SD).

Iberclear will impose a penalty fee of 2% on the bought-in amount and confiscate any profit on the difference between the selling amount and the buy-in price.

Penalty fees for each day that elapses between the Intended Settlement Date and the Effective Settlement Date will incur to the failed seller, together with the difference between the cash amount of the Buy-in and the cash amount of the failed sell instruction:

  • Market price of securities (on SD+4);
  • Penalty of EUR 1,000 per instruction: administrative cost for the execution of the Buy-in.
  • 0.1% of cash buy-in amount, calculated as the closing price of the security on the failed securities.

Objections to fines

Objections to a fine can be lodged with Iberclear-ARCO within 10 working days of the date on which the fine was imposed.

Collateral transfer for TARGET payments

To get credit from their Central Banks, customers can do either of the following:

Transfer collateral to the Bank of Spain in favour of their Central Bank's account (the repo method); or
Pledge the securities (the pledge method). In this case, the securities are blocked in the custodian's books with Iberclear and a special certificate is delivered to the CSD.