2018 was a milestone year for the Euroclear group – our 50th anniversary. Ever since Euroclear was established, our people have strived to build a leading open-access infrastructure that contributes to making financial markets safer and more efficient.
As you can read in our recently published Annual Review, the record operational and financial results achieved in 2018 demonstrate how this vision remains highly relevant to the evolving needs of our global network. Moreover, we firmly believe that our company makes a positive contribution to the real economy through our business activities, and this underpins our commitment to remaining a socially responsible company.
In a recently published report, PwC studied the impact for emerging economies when they establish a market link with Euroclear, providing empirical evidence of ‘Euroclearability’ for the first time. PwC found that, after controlling for other factors, sovereign borrowing costs were reduced by 28 basis points in primary bond issuances, which could help deliver welfare gains to society such as through increased spending on healthcare or education.
In the course of 2018, Euroclear processed 230 million net transactions while safekeeping €28.8 trillion on behalf of its 2000 clients worldwide. Such activities put Euroclear into contact with significant amounts of data. As we welcomed the European Union’s move to strengthen and unify data protection, we rolled out GDPR e-training to all employees, with 95% of our people successfully completing the training.
We also continue to invest in training and development of our people, which is a prerequisite to the long-term sustainable performance of the organisation. Over 300 colleagues made use of our newly launched Euroclear Introduction from the CEO and Chairman Development Centre where they can access career advice and development opportunities through our dedicated team of advisors.
At Euroclear, we strive to foster an inclusive, safe and healthy environment where everyone can bring their respective strengths. Our gender diversity programme is targeted at encouraging women to develop their careers at Euroclear. Through a focus on increasing the proportion of women at middle management levels, we aim to build a pipeline of female leaders for the future. Meanwhile, we are encouraged by the launch of a grassroots initiative – the ‘Women’s Empowering Academy’ – which shares this vision.
As a technology-based company, we require significant amounts of energy to power our offices and data centres. Nevertheless, our focus on mitigating our impact on the environment has meant the group has been carbon neutral since 2012 and we have now reduced our carbon footprint, from our 2014 baseline, by 17%.
Euroclear occupies a privileged position in society so giving back is very important to us. On behalf of all our people, we were proud to gift an additional €1 million to community projects this year to celebrate our 50th anniversary.
Finally, on behalf of the Board, we would like to thank all our employees, clients and partners for their contribution to making Euroclear an increasingly responsible company.