DTCC moves a step closer to corporate actions standardisation

DTCC moves a step closer to corporate actions standardisation

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has released for public comment a first set of drafts of corporate action announcement messages under the international ISO 200022 format.

The move comes a year after the US depository partnered with financial messaging network Swift and standards operator XBRL to shift from proprietary message formats to the new XML-based taxonomy.

Donald Donahue, DTCC chairman and CEO says: "Whether receiving XBRL tagged documents from issuers or communicating with our customers through ISO 20022 messages, a primary goal of DTCC's corporate action re-engineering project is to help the flow of information between issuers and investors move more smoothly and with fewer errors, at less cost, using a single global standard."

Chris Church, Swift's head of securities describes the DTCC's commitment to the project as "a game changer for the industry", which has long proven resistant to the post-trade straight-through processing movement.

"The release of the draft messages is an exciting milestone towards helping the industry reduce cost, eliminate risk and increase the transparency of corporate actions announcements," he says.

The definitions used by DTCC, along with schemas and other format information, are available for industry review and comment in six separate documents on the depository's Web site. Documentation supporting additional message types, including payment messages, is scheduled for release by midyear 2010.

Yet, despite the progress, inconsistencies remain.

"Although we have adopted ISO messaging, we still face a situation where about half of the data content is not covered in the message, and in fact is not even in the ISO data dictionary," notes David Hands, DTCC director of product management, global corporate actions. "Therefore, we are using extensions to cover these situations in a consistent, standard format."

He says the DTCC is continuing to work with Swift and national markets to determine what changes need to be made to further align the DTCC and ISO data models.

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