Banks join forces to develop open standard for electronic OTC trading

Banks join forces to develop open standard for electronic OTC trading

A group of leading sell-side banks has set up a working group that will focus on the creation of an open industry standard protocol for client and trader enablement on electronic trading platforms.

Currently, enabling clients to trade with dealers on OTC electronic platforms is a manual process, requiring a significant amount of rekeying of data from internal dealer systems onto those of the venues.

In January investment banks came together to try and fix the problem, launching the Trading Enablement Standardization Initiative (Tesi) and vowing to work with execution venues and other stakeholders to create a tighter integration between the dealer systems and the venues.

The working group says that its first goal is to ensure the smooth migration of swaps trading onto Swap Execution Facilities by automating the movement of clients onto the new platforms. The scope will extend to other OTC cash and derivative markets in later phases.

The banks - including BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, RBS, and UBS - argue that adoption of the new standards will bring faster client enablement, more operational efficiency, fewer straight-through processing failures, and help meet more stringent operational regulatory requirements.

Simon Maisey, global head, rates e-commerce, JP Morgan, says: "While the trading flows in electronic markets have been automated for some time now, the processes for enabling clients have remained highly manual. The adoption of automation standards by the industry will allow for the improvement of client service, controls and efficiency. This development is particularly timely given the increased regulatory demands on electronic trading infrastructure."

Comments: (4)

Sassan Danesh
Sassan Danesh - Etrading Software Ltd - London 26 March, 2013, 11:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

With the benefit of hindsight, it seems crazy that in this day and age each broker-dealer has an army of staff manually keying in the same trading enablement information across multiple OTC markets.

Defining FIX messages to carry the trading relationships is the obvious way to go, given that the trading messages themselves are mostly FIX.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 27 March, 2013, 18:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Actually, the situation is not as bad as it is portrayed: Rarely does a broker-dealer actually rekey data from internal dealer systems to venues. Many broker-dealers use scripts to automate this process, just that, in the absence of a standard across venues, they need one script per venue and each broker-dealer needs its own set of scripts that can't be used by another broker-dealer. What a standard can achieve is reduction in the number of such scripts, which is a good thing. A similar situation exists in the Corporate-to-Bank interface where payment messages generated by a corporate's AP / TMS / ERP system have to "massaged" before being submitted to the systems of its different banking partners. Not sure how successful SWIFT and ERP vendors have been with their unified C2B solutions that attempt to solve this problem.

Alex Wolcough
Alex Wolcough - Sycamore Financial Technology - London 01 May, 2013, 09:19Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Ketharaman: So far, we haven't seen these scripts at the dealers involved with the initiative

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 01 May, 2013, 10:42Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@AlexW: TY for your clarification. However, I can only talk of banks where such scripts do exist and were developed by one of my past employers. I do recognize that they don't feature in the list of banks - BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, etc. - involved in this initiative. Talking of which, since the article states, "trading flows in electronic markets have been automated", it's likely that this initiative itself has little to do with internal systems - such as the aforementioned scripts intended for internal use - but for automating customer-facing "processes for enabling clients" that "have remained highly manual".

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