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Syntegra talks up Crest network renewals

14 August 2002  |  3744 views  |  0 Crest

Syntegra, the systems integration arm of UK telco BT, is reporting a near 100% renewal rate among subscribers to SettleNet, its IP-based network service for connecting to the UK book entry depository Crest.

Syntegra says that 50 of 52 customers whose contracts were up for renewal in the newly-competitive Crest network market have chosen to re-sign agreements to use SettleNet. Around 140 financial institutions currently use Syntegra for network provision, including all the UK and Irish registrar community, the majority of brokers, as well as a number of custodians and investment banks.

Michael Wheeler, finance officer of UK independent broker Redmayne Bentley, says the firm was happy to renew its agreement with SettleNet and that it didn't want to entrust such a mission-critical operation to a new player.

Martyn Drake, CIO, Computershare in the UK says his firm considered offerings from both Swift and new entrants to the market before re-signing with Syntegra in May. "We chose to continue using Syntegra's SettleNet system as Syntegra was competitive on price. We also have a good relationship, built up over the years of working together."

The market for Crest network connectivity was recently opened up to competition as part of an initiative to break up the long-standing Swift/Syntegra duopoly on provision. It coincides with a migration to generic browser-based interface standards at Crest, enabling institutions to plug in a different network to their proprietary sockets and split traffic between suppliers. However, the recent departure of Slam Dunk from the bidding leaves just Radianz and the London Stock Exchange as an alternative to Swift and Syntegra.

Neil Morris, SettleNet general manager at Syntegra, comments: "We are continuing to invest in SettleNet, regularly increasing its capacity and performance capabilities and supporting changing requirements. We are currently working with Crest to deliver functionality for ISO 15022 messages - with go-live planned for Q4 this year."

He says he is not aware of any customers deciding to share traffic with different suppliers.

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