As confidence in the viability of the virtual matching utility (VMU) owned by GSTP AG continues to erode, SWIFT has stepped in to shore it up. Earlier today the Brussels-based messaging network – which believes its role as a supplier to the GSTP project is crucial to its ambitions in the securities industry – issued a statement emphasising that it would continue to supply network services to the beleaguered project despite the fact that the creators of the VMU had withdrawn from the project and the GSTP AG management was looking to appoint a new facilities manager for the Transaction Flow Manager (TFM) it has acquired from them. SunGard, which at one time declared ambitions to build a VMU of its own, is seen as the front-runner for the job.
It seems SWIFT expects to retain its role as network supplier to GSTP and its customers irrespective of who takes over from the axion4 consortium. “As the exclusive provider of connectivity and messaging services to GSTP AG and its users, SWIFT will support GSTP AG in migrating connectivity to their Transaction Flow Manager (TFM) from its current location in Zurich to a new facilities management centre,” reads the SWIFT statement. “Owing to SWIFT’s worldwide connectivity and flexibility of service offering, migration to the new operating structure will be transparent to GSTP users, with existing processes remaining unchanged and fully protected. SWIFT will continue to work with GSTP AG and other key industry bodies to enable standards and market practice convergence for the benefit of the end-users. In engaging with securities Virtual Matching Utilities (VMU), such as GSTP AG, SWIFT will accelerate the availability and interoperability of major service offerings, while at the same time contributing to increased Straight Through Processing (STP) rates in the market place. In addition, SWIFT will pursue several synergies with GSTP AG, including standards expertise, training, and implementation services. SWIFT will also continue to operate a global 24×7 first line helpdesk for the users.”
Ironically, the issue of the statement is likely to add to nervousness about the GSTP project. Francis Remacle, Head of the Securities Industry Division at SWIFT and a member of its Executive Committee, is certainly emphasising its importance to SWIFT as well as the industry. “This announcement underscores SWIFT’s continued commitment to the Securities Industry,” he says. “Our ongoing relationship with GSTP AG and other Virtual Matching Utilities is a key facet of our strategy to enable true end-to-end connectivity, standards convergence and interoperability along the entire transaction lifecycle for the benefit of the industry and the end-users.”