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Bringing you news, views and analysis since 2013

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ISO standards remain industry’s top choice for funds processing automation

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The automation rate and the use of the ISO standards by the fund industry in Luxembourg and Ireland continued to increase in 2012, according to a report published by the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and SWIFT.

 
This report is an ongoing campaign by EFAMA and SWIFT to highlight the advancement of automation and standardisation rates of orders of cross-border funds.
 
Some 32 transfer agents (TAs) in Ireland and Luxembourg, representing more than 80 per cent of the total incoming third-party investment funds order volumes in both markets, participated in the survey.
 
Total automation rates continued to climb throughout the year to reach 77.7 per cent at the end of 2012.  This trend was driven by a very strong increase of ISO adoption (+6.2 per cent).
 
Manual processing and the use of proprietary File Transfer Protocol (FTP) formats continued to decline in 2012 (-1.7 per cent for manual processing and -4.5 per cent for proprietary FTP).
 
Luxembourg made significant progress towards standardisation in 2012. The ISO automation rate rose to 56.5 per cent in 2012, and the total automation rate increased to 73.7 per cent (+2.8 per cent compared to Q4 2011).
 
Ireland’s progress towards automation continued, with a total automation rate reaching 85.3 per cent at the end 2012.  The use of ISO messaging standards increased by 6.2 per cent, reflecting a fall in the use of proprietary FTP usage (-5.9 per cent over the same period).
 
Peter De Proft (pictured), EFAMA director general, says: “We welcome the progress achieved towards ISO standardization in processing cross-border fund orders.  It is important to continue moving in this direction to increase efficiency in the fund industry, reduce operational risk and improve the quality of its services.”
 

Fabian Vandenreydt, head of securities markets and core business development, SWIFT, says: “Despite declining orders volumes, it is very encouraging to notice that ISO remains the first choice among market participants; the 80 per cent threshold of total automation remains an important industry goal to strengthen efficiency, but an increase of more than 6 per cent of ISO over the reporting period is yet another sign of the priority that the industry has set to itself.” 

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