PwC actively supports Euroclear’s ability to assure absolute accuracy
Euroclear specialises in the settlement of securities transactions as well as the safekeeping and asset servicing of these securities. Absolute accuracy is a must.
“We’re a guarantor of numbers and have to be able to assure absolute accuracy. We’re at the centre of the world’s financial markets. If our services weren’t of the highest quality and we couldn’t deliver that absolute accuracy, it would not only impact one party, but create a risk of contagion to the whole financial market, with a potential loss of trust in the entire ecosystem. Our stakeholders must be able to take quality for granted. We therefore look to work with an audit firm that has the same focus on quality that we do,” explains Euroclear’s CEO Lieve Mostrey.
PwC has been Euroclear’s financial auditor since its creation, whilst also delivering comfort on its internal controls (ISAE 3402 report).
Euroclear is in a special type of business. The laws and regulations with which players in the financial industry must comply add a substantial level of complexity and sophistication, which has to be catered to by Euroclear’s control environment. It’s crucial that any services provider understands that environment if they’re to answer Euroclear’s needs adequately.
PwC looks at industry practices, thoroughly assesses the adequacy of the controls in place for Euroclear and offers pragmatic recommendations.
We also act as a sparring partner, especially with regards Euroclear’s relationship with the National Bank of Belgium (NBB), making sure Euroclear understands messages from the NBB in the way they’re intended. Our relationship with the NBB enables us to act as a safety net, capturing concerns, issues and trends within the Bank that could impact Euroclear.
Given the vast environment in which its different member firms operate, PwC is also well positioned to flag upcoming challenges from across the market that may impact Euroclear, acting as an early warning signal of what’s coming onto their radar.
Euroclear places great importance on the quality of people it works with, and looks for professionals that combine high-quality technical skills with strong interpersonal skills. That’s something Euroclear believes it’s found with PwC, along with a high level of comfort and a supplier that’s straight talking.
The trust and mutual respect we’ve built up means that we’re able to have straight conversations, speaking up about potential areas for improvement. This means we can bring real value to the relationship.
"In any professional services company, it’s people that make the difference. Everyone we’ve worked with from PwC has been a high-quality professional, in terms of their technical capabilities and interpersonal skills."
Going forward, Euroclear is seeking to maintain its strong position in Europe and is investing in areas such as regulatory compliance and cyber resilience to support that. Tracking and experimenting with emerging technologies, including Blockchain, robotics, Fintech and Big Data, is a key part of helping it extend its collateral offerings.
PwC is also looking at how new technologies can support our business as well as that of our clients, putting us in a prime position to help Euroclear consider how its business could evolve in the years to come, and support its evolution.