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Standards bodies bid to bring STP to tangled financial plumbing

12 October 2010  |  11886 views  |  4 Man writing graphs on glass wall

Financial messaging bodies have agreed a common 'investment roadmap' designed to guide market participants through the confusing maze of multiple overlapping industry standards within the securities industry.

The blueprint, initially introduced in 2008, lays the groundwork for moving towards one common business model, ISO 20022, while allowing the respective standards organisations to continue maintaining their existing protocols - FIX, ISO, FpML and XBRL.

The coalition of standards setters - including Swift FPL, FpML, FISD, XBRL US and Isitc - say the roadmap's purpose is to provide market participants consistent direction when using financial services messaging standards by visually mapping the protocols to their appropriate business processes across asset classes.

Gerard Hartsink, senior EVP, ABN Amro, and convenor of the ISO 20022 Registration Management Group (RMG), says: "The investment roadmap is an important step in the harmonisation of the securities industry using the ISO 20022 business model and domain specific syntaxes. It is an idea that can be leveraged by other business areas to support their plans for ISO 20022 interoperability and adoption."

Finextra verdict The Tower of babel still stands! The plumbing may continue to spring the odd leak here and there, but no need just yet to rip out the old pipework and install a modern press and flush system. After all, that might just undermine the foundations on which the old standards are built. And that wouldn't do at all.

Comments: (4)

Chris Yaldezian
Chris Yaldezian - IBM (Software Group) - San Ramon | 12 October, 2010, 18:52

It sounds more like the various financial bodies have agreed to keep their fiefdoms intact, but perhaps one may hope that this is a logical first step to an eventual common modern financial standard. Oh sorry, I guess that is an utopian thought.

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Alan Jenkins
Alan Jenkins - Jenkins UK Limited - London | 13 October, 2010, 09:42

OK, it's easy to be cynical - but if all these groups can agree consistent data definitions, and maintain these in the ISO 20022 repository, then it genuinely solves a lot of problems. The varying formats and protocols are secondary to the meaning of the underlying data, as Mike Bennett's excellent work for the EDM Council is demonstrating.

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Barry Kislingbury
Barry Kislingbury - ACI Worldwide - London | 13 October, 2010, 09:57

And why just the securities industry, why not the whole financial services industry? We have seen several attempts to unify the industry under ISO 20022, which if successful would save billions and make a huge difference. Let's hope this one succeeds and is fully inclusive of all data flows and market participants.

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Andrew Muir
Andrew Muir - SWIFT - | 13 October, 2010, 16:31

I'm glad to see that this subject is still hot. At SIBOS on Monday 25th October, at 12:45, on the Standards Forum stand, we're debating the value of such initiatives with Tim Lind of OMGEO and Andrew Douglas of DTCC. Come along and make your opinion count!

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