The release of the first set of draft ISO 20022 corporate action announcment by the DTCC is an excellent achievement for them and their partners SWIFT and XBRL US. The introduction of standard messaging when communicating from the issuer to the final beneficial
owner will significantly reduce the interpretational risk on corporate actions and lead to a more streamlined process for US securities. The use of the ISO 20022 MX messages will further enhance the accuracy of corporate action data and provide details to
the decision maker earlier; allowing them, in the case of REORG events, more time to make that fully informed decision.
As David Hands rightly points out the flexibility of the new messages allows for the inclusion of extensions not supported in the ISO data dictionary. It has always been a limitation within the ISO 15022 message that has prevented the high volume use of
standard messages that is seen elsewhere in Europe and Asia. The use of extensions will include the addition of that important enriched data, in particular on US corporate actions. It is vital that this use of extensions by the DTCC is replicated as a standard
by other issuers of corporate action announcements. Without this standard replication of the extensions, it will be impossible to automate the update and process of corporate actions. I would encourage all markets to follow a standard for extensions so we
all benefit from this enhanced and more flexible messaging format.
© Finextra Research 2014