SWIFT has started pilot traffic activity on SWIFTNet Funds.
“The growing focus of the funds industry on standardizing and automating processing is demonstrated by the commitment of leading players to SWIFTNet Funds,” says Francis Remacle, head of the Securities Industry Division at SWIFT. “SWIFT is committed to a long term partnership with the investment fund industry towards delivering the same benefits from STP and automation that are already prevalent in other asset classes.”
SWIFTNet Funds aims to facilitate automation in the mutual fund industry through the combination of industry standards and the SWIFTNet messaging network. The service caters for both domestic and cross-border fund distribution flows in Europe and Asia-Pacific and is based on a set of new UNIFI (ISO20022) standards – ISO 15022 second edition standards have been renamed UNIFI (ISO20022) standards to reflect their broader scope and enhanced quality – covering accounts openings and maintenance, orders, statuses, confirmations, transfers, holdings and transactions statements, price reporting, cash flow reporting, commission reporting and static prospectus data.
SWIFTNet Funds is being piloted by 15 institutions: Attrax, Banca Intesa, Bank of Ireland Securities Services, Barclays Global Investors, BNP Paribas Securities Services, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Citco Bank, Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Monte dei Paschi di Siena, DWS, FETA, Fidelity Investments, JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management, SEB and Unicredito Italiano.
“We are committed to investing in technology solutions which improve the efficiency of our products and customer service,” says Campbell Fleming, Managing Director of European Operations at JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management. “SWIFT’s solution provides us with a scalable platform to automate the supply chain with customers, thereby reducing operational risks and costs.”
“As a leader in the Hedge Funds custody business Citco Bank views its participation in this Pilot scheme as essential to enabling it to provide its clients and counterparts with the option of a communications standard tailored specifically for investment funds transactions”, adds Tony Renouf, SWIFT Network Manager, Citco Bank.
Other fund market participants that have confirmed they will use SWIFTNet Funds are Brown Brothers Harriman, Crdit Agricole Investor Services, Crdit Suisse Asset Management Fund Services, Clearstream (Vestima+) and Euroclear (FundSettle).
“In the process of the fund industry automation, we welcome this larger coverage of SWIFT standards enabling further cost processing reductions,” says Bruno Zutterling, Director Investment Fund Services, Clearstream. “The combination of such messages with Vestima+ trigger a new step in the industry efficiency by bringing more flexibility and more standardization to any market participant.”
Euroclear Bank’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ignace R. Combes, offered FundSettle’s support for SWIFTNet Funds. “As an early adopter of many fund-related initiatives launched by SWIFT, we pride ourselves on giving FundSettle clients the flexibility to choose the messaging solution that best meets their requirements,” he says. “We applaud new initiatives like SWIFTNet Funds to complement the work we are doing through FundSettle to automate and standardise fund-transaction processing. As we have witnessed since FundSettle introduced SWIFTFin message standards in early 2002, where we quickly became one of SWIFT’s largest user of these dedicated message types, many of the fund industry’s leading professionals using FundSettle are eager to benefit from these new developments.”
SWIFTNet Funds will be available for live traffic in the fourth quarter of this year. A number of vendors offering business applications and integration tools (EAI) to the fund industry have worked with SWIFT to ensure that their products will accommodate the SWIFTNet Funds solution. To reinforce this, SWIFT will launch a specific SWIFTNetReady Funds Label in September this year to qualify third-party products.