Interbank network Swift has started pilot trials of SwiftNet Funds, its new XML-based messaging service for the investment funds industry in Europe and Asia Pacific.
SwiftNet Funds is being trialled by more than 15 institutions, including Bank of Ireland Securities Services, Barclays Global Investors, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management, SEB and Unicredito Italiano.
The service caters for both domestic and cross-border fund distribution flows in Europe and Asia Pacific and is based the new UNIFI (ISO20022) standards covering accounts openings and maintenance, orders, statuses, confirmations, transfers, holdings and transactions statements, price reporting, cash flow reporting, commission reporting and static prospectus data.
Other fund players - including Clearstream, Euroclear, Brown Brothers Harriman, Citigroup and Crédit Agricole Investor Services - have also confirmed that they will use SwiftNet Funds.
Swift says the new standard will drive the whole funds market towards extensive standardisation and automation of processes. Francis Remacle, head of securities industry division, Swift, comments: "Swift is committed to a long term partnership with the investment fund industry towards delivering the same benefits from STP and automation that are already prevalent in other asset classes."
Campbell Fleming, MD, European operations at JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management -one of the firms piloting the system - says: "Swift's solution provides us with a scalable platform to automate the supply chain with customers, thereby reducing operational risks and costs."
SwiftNet Funds will be available for live traffic in Q4 2004. To reinforce this, Swift is also launching a specific SwiftNetReady Funds Label in September to qualify third-party products.