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Standards Forum Day One

So, here we are again.  Another Sibos.  Another Standards Forum.  The waiting is over and it’s time to get down to business.  On Monday we kick off at 9:30am with “Professor” Tom Poppe who will be working the early shift every day, what a trooper!  Today Tom will take a look at how standards have evolved in the 40 years since SWIFT was created. 

Following Tom we’ll have an update on the LEI at 11am. It is now four years since the LEI was first mooted at the G20 Summit in Pittsburg.  We’ve made a ton of progress but we’re still not quite there yet.  The standard itself is simple, but the operational implementation is proving to be a fiendishly non-trivial exercise.  I think we’re all beginning to understand the reasons why the industry was unable or unwilling to define such an identifier scheme until it felt the heavy hand of Regulation on its shoulder.

At 12:15pm Stephen Lindsay, Head of Standards at SWIFT, formally opens The Standards Forum, and this will be immediately followed by a panel session called the Future of Standards.  The popular and always entertaining David Bannister returns as moderator for what ought to be a very lively discussion. 

Back in July David convened a round table discussion in London on this very topic.  Two of the brave knights at the table (it was square actually) are here again today. Stephen Lindsay was quoted in the article as saying “Certainly one of the next frontiers for ISO 20022 is to make good on the promise that it is genuinely multi-syntax”.  Yes.  Could not agree more.  We’ve been talking about this for some time now, but we’re just not there yet.  I look forward to a day when we don’t waste so much energy arguing about the messaging syntax.  If we get this right then the choice of syntax should be irrelevant. Expect to hear more about this in the session.  There is also likely to be some discussion about the role regulators may play in the future, I’ve written about this mutually beneficial opportunity recently: the regulators need help establishing a common understanding of data; and we (the standards world) could really take advantage of the regulators’ big stick.  I would like to hear the panels’ view on what we can learn from other industries.  Who could ever forget the dude in sweatpants talking about APIs as long ago as the 2010 Sibos in Amsterdam? Sometimes I feel that as an industry we are bit too close-minded in this respect. 

Funnily enough, the other two knights of David’s square table are panelists in the final session of the day, called “Unlocking the power of the ISO 20022 model.  I have written about this quite a few times lately, and I’m really looking forward to this session.  For all the talk (and talk… and talk…) of adopting 20022 messages we really haven’t focused much on the model.  In May 2013 a new version of the ISO 20022 standard was published, and at the same time, the repository was made publicly available.  That said, public or not, the model is complex to say the least and it is going to need a bit of a leg-up to achieve mainstream adoption.  The expectation is that the financial services messaging vendor community will step up to the plate by incorporating the model into their tools and products.  It seems intuitively obvious that the more places the 20022 model is exposed, the more likely it is to become the model of choice for all our information architectural needs. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about this during the week and beyond.


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Steve Goswell
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Steve Goswell



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04 Sep 2013


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Standards Forum

The Standards Forum is the place where business and standardisation meet. This group would like to facilitate and encourage dialogue around standardisation in the financial industry, and share views, insights and updates on how financial standards can contribute to reducing cost and increasing efficiency when tackling today's challenges such as automation, compliance, and regulation.

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