Seven top-flight Wall Street firms have formed an association to promote the development and adoption of standards for instant messaging in the financial services industry.
The Financial Services Instant Messaging Association (Fima), formerly known as the Instant Messaging Standards Board, has been established by Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and UBS Warburg.
The creation of the group comes days after the launch by Reuters and Microsoft of a new instant messaging system designed to compete with the popular Bloomberg Mail service.
Fima bills itself as non-partisan and open to any participant that wishes to promote Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) IM standards and protocols within the financial services community. The idea is to promote interoperability and beneficial competition among instant messaging vendors, says the association.
According to IDC, 70% of all IM users utilise the technology for both personal and professional conversations from the workplace. However, IM providers rely upon proprietary platforms and, as a result, users of one IM product are generally unable to communicate with users on other platforms.
Fima says it will assist organisations within the financial industry with evaluating and identifying IM solutions that meet interoperability and security requirements along with providing a platform for sharing information and experiences amongst member firms.