Online Course
Start date: 1 August
Course access period: 6 months

Online Course
Start date: 1 September
Course access period: 6 months


The Financial Services industry is extremely broad and very deep – and as we move deeper into the 21st century the degree of complexity that exists within the industry increases apace.  For many within the industry, it can be a significant challenge to keep abreast of new products and new regulatory requirements.  Unsurprisingly, for those that are about to embark on a career within Financial Services, it is a real challenge to gain a broad but meaningful understanding as to how the industry works.

This introductory course provides a broad overview of the roles, products, processes and institutions that comprise financial services, including the motivations and innovations that drive the industry and the rules that regulate it.

Learning Outcomes

By completing the training course, delegates will have the ability to identify and appreciate the following subjects and concepts:

  • the main products and major participants in the financial marketplace
  • the critical parts of the financial market infrastructure
  • how products are used and why marketplace participants trade and invest
  • how and why such products are brought to the marketplace
  • how trades are executed and how marking-to-market and realised/unrealised profit & loss concepts are related to trade execution
  • the concept of trade lifecycle, settlement and the impact of settlement failure
  • the main purposes and similarities/differences of central securities depository and a custodian
  • the differences between Over-the-Counter (OTC) and On-Exchange trading/settlement including rationale for use
  • the purpose and impact of equity-related & bond-related corporate actions
  • the impacts of digitalisation and automation incl. auto-execution, high-frequency
  • key regulation on marketplace participants including main objectives and drivers of regulation including Dodd Frank, EMIR, MiFID
Describe the types of market participants and appreciate why these firms engage in SLB, and their impact on capital markets and retail investors
Understand the operational, legal and regulatory risks and issues involved 
Comprehend the advantages/disadvantages of using different types of collateral 
Appreciate the impact that corporate actions have on the lent security and on securities collateral
Discover some relevant anecdotes and SLB case studies

Who should attend?

The course is designed for people who have little or no practical knowledge of the financial marketplace, including fresh graduates and those that are transferring from different industries.  The content of the course is designed to assist delegates going into a broad array of roles, including Front Office (trading and sales), Middle Office, Operations, Risk Management, Credit Control, Compliance, Legal, Accounting, Audit, and IT.


The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions of which candidates must answer a minimum of 30 questions correctly, with a score of 45 or more earning a distinction. You will have six months in which to study the material, book and complete an online, fully invigilated exam.

We use a third-party exam invigilation service called ProctorU to administer the exams on our assessed courses. We recommend you take a few minutes to watch this video before you take your exam, which provides information on what to expect on the day. You can also take a look at some further information here.

More information regarding your specific exam will be available in the Exam Orientation page on Moodle, the ICMA training platform.

Certification and Programme Recognition

ICMA is a member of the CPD® Certification Service, an FCA-approved qualifications provider and approved by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong as provider of Continuous Professional Training (CPT).

The course is certified by ICMA and the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading.

ICMA recommends that 12 learning hours can be associated with this course, based on attended/undertaken hours of study required to successfully complete the learning outcomes.

A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who successfully pass the final exam of this course – see Assessment section for more details.

Please note that your course certificate of attendance or completion should be sufficient to satisfy any professional development requirements – if you require further evidence, please contact us at

Section 1: The Financial Services Environment: Essential Concepts and Terminology

  • Which financial products are traded and why incl. Cash; Securities (Equity, Bonds); Derivatives; Commodities
  • How financial products are categorised incl. the Capital Market, the Money Market, the Foreign Exchange Market, the Derivatives Market, ehe Commodities Market
  • Major Participants, their motivations and objectives

Section 2: Securities Products

  • Equity and Debt Characteristics: Similarities and Differences
  • Debt Types

Section 3: Bringing Securities to the Marketplace: Equity & Debt Primary Market

  • Equity: IPO
  • Government Debt: Auction
  • Non-Government Debt: Syndication
  • Trading venues, including investment exchanges and multilateral trading facilities

Section 4: The Front Office: Structure & Responsibilities of Trading and Sales

  • Trading incl. Traders, trading capacity, trading books, taking positions, risk etc.
  • Sales incl. relationships, order placements, identifying issues etc.
  • Impact of automation, high-frequency and innovation

Section 5: The Middle Office: Typical Responsibilities of Trade Support/Confirmation, Risk Management, Reporting

  • Trade capture
  • Issues impacting settlement
  • Risk management and P&L Calculation

Section 6: Back Office Operations: Key Responsibilities of Pre-matching, Settlements, Corporate Actions, Asset Servicing and Static Data

  • Static Data
  • Ensuring Trade Details Are Agreed by Counterparties
  • Trade Settlement
  • Securities and Cash Reconciliation
  • Processing of Income, Withholding Tax and Corporate Actions

Section 7: Trading and Settling Securities Trades: Securities Trade Lifecycle Overview

  • Trading Methods (Exchange trading versus OTC)
  • Trade Execution (Legal contract and firm’s commitment)
  • Trade Capture
  • Trade Confirmation (SWIFT and Central Trade Manager)
  • Trade Settlement
  • Asset Reconciliation (Reconciling securities positions & cash balances at CSD/custodian)

Section 8: Overview of Repo, Securities Lending and Collateral

  • Trade Finance and short-selling
  • Use of repos and securities lending
  • Collateralised trading and margin calls

Section 9: Key Regulation on marketplace

  • Key regulation and objectives, covering Dodd Frank, EMIR, MiFID, CSDR, AIFMD
  • Impact of regulation and anticipated future trends
  • KYC requirements
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
Securities Lending & Borrowing (SLB) – The Fundamentals 
What is Securities Lending?
The Purpose: Why Do Lenders Lend & Borrowers Borrow?
Participants & Structure
Trading Strategies
SLB Trade Lifecycle - An Overview
Short Selling, Naked Short Selling
Locates, Trade Execution & Fails
Corporate Events
The Marketplace – Participants & Stakeholders
Lenders, Borrowers and Intermediaries 
The Lender’s Perspective: Motivations and Considerations
The Borrower’s Perspective: Motivations and Considerations
Global custodians
Third-party lending agents
Central counterparties
SLB Trade Lifecycle
Pre-trading, Locates
Trade execution
Mark to Market 
Margin calls
Recall/return of lent settlements
Fees & Billing
Assets & Collateral
Equity vs Fixed Income 
Fundamental collateral concepts
Margin: Purpose & use 
Types of collateral
Legal Documentation
Securities lending agency agreement
Updating Books & Records
Securities bookkeeping: Definition & purpose
Importance of updating books & records
Updating books and records for lent/borrowed securities, cash and non-cash collateral, fees and rebates
SLB and Corporate Actions
Corporate actions: Overview 
*Cash dividends
*Lent securities
*Short sale proceeds
*Lent/borrowed equity
Withholding tax
Risks in Securities Lending & Borrowing 
Market Risk
Credit Risk
Operational Risk
Legal Risk
Reputational Risk 
EU short selling & financial transactions tax
Reporting to a central trade repository
Recent SLB Scandals & Controversies
The Lehman saga uncover

Online Course

The Introduction to Market Infrastructure is an online self-study course – delegates who sign up to online courses will have access for 6 months to enable them to take advantage of the additional online resources, discussion boards and other functions of our new digital learning platform.

You will be given access to the course materials on the start date of the course, and will retain access for six months to keep working through the materials at your own pace.

Next datesTBC
Register your interest for this course at

Online course fees

Members: EUR 1,300 (VAT not applicable)
Non-members: EUR 1,900 (VAT not applicable)

For security reasons, delegates who have not registered in advance will not be admitted to the live sessions.

Please note:

  • Payment for online courses must be received before the start of the course.
  • All payments must be made in Euro.


Should you have any queries, please contact

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