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Standards Forums 2014 at the halfway point

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

With approximately half of 2014’s Standards Forums behind us, now is an appropriate time to evaluate how this year’s agenda is playing out. What is the progress on ISO 20022 and other topics of interest, what challenges are on people’s minds and what are the industry’s expectations and requirements from standards in the future? Let’s see what were the main take-aways from Standards Forums held thus far, and which places we will visit in the coming months.


New York, USA, 5 March 2014

The Standards Forum’s first point of call was New York. Hosted by Citi and held in conjunction with the SWIFT Business Forum, the event was attended by more than one hundred standards supporters. Several large global institutions who were present in New York reported that they are implementing ISO 20022 to support SEPA and payments in other markets, such as Canada and Australia. Very likely, they will want to extend this effort to include domestic operations. On the other hand, there was also general awareness that migrating a variety of businesses to ISO 20022 within a ‘reasonable’ timeframe will not all be smooth sailing. Some example of challenges that were mentioned: how to convince smaller regional players to embrace ISO 20022 in lieu of domestic standards; how to ensure global interconnectedness in securities markets using ISO 15022 for some areas, and ISO 20022 for other business segments. For more details and information about other topics discussed at the New York Standards Forum, read Steve Goswell’s Finextra blog post.


Singapore, 11 March 2014

Eighty customers from both the financial and corporate side attended this gathering, hosted by the Singapore Exchange (SGX). The SGX project, which is well underway, fittingly demonstrates the local community’s appetite for ISO 20022. Representatives from SGX highlighted the reasons behind their decision to adopt the standard as the basis for a new state-of-the-art clearing and depository system. Other topics of interest were updates on payments market initiatives in the Asia Pacific region and a debate about RMB internationalization. Following the standards forum, a series of workshops were held at the SWIFT Singapore office for customers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of ISO 20022.


London, UK, 25 March 2014

Over two hundred people assembled in London to debate standardisation in the financial industry. Hosted by the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT ‘s Standards Forum and the London School of Economics and Political Science, speakers consisted of commissioners, standardizers, academics and bankers. Gottfried Leibbrandt, SWIFT CEO, opened the discussions, which dealt with the following topics: a presentation about four currently used financial data collection processes and standards (FIXML, XBRL, Swap Data Repositories and ISO 20022), a "common financial language", macro-prudential oversight, risk communication & visualizations as a common regulatory objective, and the future of standardization. The general consensus was that there is a big need for collaboration between the different stakeholders to bridge the gap between regulatory intent and outcome. Check details in our live blog on Finextra.


Utrecht, The Netherlands, 17 June 2014

In Europe, following SEPA’s implementation to ISO 20022, plans for T2, Euro1, T2S and many others to migrate are taking shape or happening as we speak. At the Standards Forum hosted by Rabo in Utrecht, we will take stock of these initiatives, reflect on lessons learnt, and address remaining challenges and opportunities. Other topics will include: the future of standards, impact of the shortened T+2 securities settlement timeframe, standardisation needs in the corporate-to-bank area, and regulatory challenges. There will also be a number of chat rooms dealing with standards tools, processes, etc. People interested in attending this event may register here.


Beijing, People’s Republic of China, 6 August 2014

For the first time, the Standards Forum will move to mainland China. More information about our upcoming Beijing edition will be available soon. People interested in attending this event may register here.


Boston, USA, 29 Sep – 2 Oct 2014

The Sibos Standards Forum, our annual ‘conference within a conference’, will be held from 29 September until 2 October 2014. As in preceding Standards Forums, we will debate what the future of standards, notably the next decade of ISO 20022, will bring. There will be lunch sessions about payments market infrastructures’ ISO 20022 adoption, regulatory compliance and collateral management. New this year will be a number of recurring "standards lab" sessions dealing with: "what if?" scenarios in payments and securities, post-trade, person-to-person banking, intraday liquidity reporting and regulatory challenges. Other agenda topics will comprise: cyber security, LEI, semantic standards and STP in China.


Moscow, Russia, 4Q 2014

More information will be available soon.


The first few Standards Forums of the year have certainly been rich in content and not less in enthusiasm. In New York, the suggestion was coined a few times that ISO 20022 migrations are slowly reaching a "tipping point". It will be interesting to see if this opinion continues to be voiced at other locations. Download the free ISO 20022 adoption mApp (or pdf) from the iTunes App Store. And of course, stay tuned for updates and additional Standards Forum locations in the links provided above.


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