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The results are in.  43 approved Change Requests impacting 60 message types for a total of 201 changes altogether.  Sounds high, 43, doesn’t it?  Well, it is 50% higher than 2015, but significantly less than the two releases prior to that. So perhaps against that background, 43 isn’t so bad. Here are some of the highlights…

No changes in cat-1 and cat-2 which will no doubt make some people very happy after such an unusually large number of changes in SR2015.  However, the High Level Info doc published by SWIFT in November contains a thinly veiled warning about the removal of the free format options planned for SR2020.  The community is urged to start planning well in advance.  Will anyone pay attention?  We’ll see.  Mark your calendars now for a mad scramble in October 2020.

It’s worth noting a curious dynamic here.  There are those who prefer to avoid non-urgent changes to the payments messages because “20022 is coming”.  It is a herring-rouge.  Outside of the MI-driven adoption of 20022 I don’t think anyone really believes that the many-to-many messaging space will consider a migration anytime soon.   Here’s hoping the PMPG can help deliver us out of this deadlock situation.

There are a handful of changes in each of cat-0 (2), cat-6 (6), and cat-9 (7), but the bulk of the changes this year belong in cat-3 (28) and cat-5 (158).

The cat-3 changes are primarily driven by the shift to central clearing for FX products and the relentless demand from regulators.

What on earth is going on with cat-5?  158 changes!  More than 4 times the level in 2015.  You may remember that the corporate actions peeps gave themselves a break last year which brings us to a quintessential I-told-you-so moment.  The five 56x messages account for whopping 49 changes.  Considering these messages are now 17 years old it is remarkable that they consistently generate so much work each year… and remember, it’s work times two, because every change also has to be made the corresponding 20022 message(s).

The rest of the cat-5 changes are fairly evenly spread across TIC, S&R, Collateral Management.  2016 is shaping up to be a somewhat painful and tedious year from a securities standards perspective.

This week SWIFT published the Standards Release Guide, available for download here:  

Recommend you start planning now.  Engage your dev team. Engage your BAs. Engage SWIFT. Engage your vendors. Do it early and do it often.



Comments: (1)

Stephen Lindsay
Stephen Lindsay - SWIFT - La Hulpe 22 December, 2015, 13:58Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hi Steve, and thanks for drawing everyone's attention to SR 2016 – it is indeed important to start planning early.

Just to add a little detail to your commentary – the number of changes requests (CRs) accepted this year is historically low – 29 across all categories, 13 in category 5. A further 15 will be implemented that were deferred from last year. However, this still adds up to quite a number of individual changes because a few of the CRs impact a large number of Cat 5 message types, notably one that introduces LEI as a party identifier, and another that allows negative values for yields in price fields. 

The business highlights of SR 2016 can be found here: 


Stephen Lindsay / SWIFT Standards

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