SWIFT announced today that users representing 90 per cent of traffic are sending either live and/or test messages in ISO 15022 formats, indicating that the migration from ISO 7775 to the new standard is progressing satisfactorily towards the 16 November deadline set way back in 1997. However, the Brussels-based messaging co-operative also warns that some players may not be sufficiently prepared.
“The benefits of ISO 15022 are improved automation, reduced operational costs and increased operational risk mitigation,” says SWIFT. “However, for these benefits to be achieved across the industry, the migration must remain on schedule and ensure that message quality and adherence to market practice are maintained.”
Understandably, SWIFT is not keen to press its own panic button prematurely. It says that, of the total traffic to be migrated, 26 per cent of live traffic is now being sent in ISO 15022, up from 12 per cent in March. As of 5 June 2002, an average of 0.54 million ISO 15022 messages are being sent per day out of 2.08 million securities messages to be migrated.
But SWIFT also says it is ready, should it be absolutely necessary, to implement a short-term contingency, lasting no more than six months, that supports ISO 7775 in parallel to ISO 15022. This contingency would be achieved through the creation of a closed message user group, enabling users not ready to send or receive ISO 15022 messages after the deadline to continue operations. Users not ready would be charged until they become ISO 15022-compliant. However, charges would be significant and would increase throughout the time the closed message user group is in use. “This contingency is intended to safeguard existing STP levels and encourage completion of the migration as quickly as possible,” says SWIFT. “The continuing priority for the industry is to proceed with the migration as planned. The decision of whether or not to implement this contingency measure will only be taken by the SWIFT Board Securities Committee in the first week of August 2002.”
In recent months, SWIFT has accelerated efforts to support customer take-up. Internally, the ISO 15022 migration programme is represented by a cross-divisional team focused on monitoring progress, providing direct customer support and maintaining a communications campaign to raise awareness.