UK equities settlement operator CrestCo is to liberalise the market for network provision to the Crest book-entry depository system, breaking up the existing Swift/Syntegra duopoly.
Iain Saville, CrestCo chief executive says the move acknowledges advances in technology and the growing experience of Crest member firms in dealing with operational problems.
"It seems to us that we can materially relax standards in terms of considerations such as throughput, resilience and reliability," says Saville, who announced the decision in his monthly editorial for the Crest newsletter. "Quite simply we believe that the management of our customer firms are perfectly capable of making their own decisions as to what characteristics they seek from their chosen network provider(s)."
Interbank messaging network Swift and BT subsidiary Syntegra were the only two suppliers to make it through the tough accreditation process mandated by CrestCO when the UK book-entry system went live six years ago. Since then, Crest member firms have been obliged to purchase network services from one or other of these two firms.
Saville says the decision will provide member firms with the opportunity to split their traffic with more than one supplier. Crest is currently migrating to generic browser-based interface standards so that customers will be able to plug in a different network to their existing proprietary sockets.
Saville says the changes will not affect the existing services provided by Syntegra and Swift.