14 October 2015
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

Sibos 2015: staggered take-off for ISO 20022

ISO 20022 messaging standards are taking flight around the world, but the timescales are varied, according to a panel at Sibos 2015.

In a panel session in SWIFT’s Standards Forum, Marc Bayle de Jessé, general director at the European Central Bank, said that the flight has already taken off in Europe, with ISO 20022 used for Target2-Securities (T2S).

On the other hand, Bob Masina, head of technology and operations at the Australian Payments Clearing Association, said that in Australia, “the plane took a long time to take off,” while Nell Campbell-Drake, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta, said: “In the US, our plane is at the gate. But we do have one engine that’s started.”

A common theme in discussion was that each jurisdiction was approaching the standards on a very local level. Campbell-Drake pointed out that local systems in the US are very different to those in other countries, and that stakeholders are particularly important, saying the Federal Reserve “has to make sure everybody has an opportunity to have their voice”.

Campbell-Drake did add that the US is trying to get to grips with the correct strategic direction, observing the actions of other jurisdictions in order to help inform stakeholders. She said: “We are learning and we are continuing to listen to what other jurisdictions have to offer.”

Bayle de Jessé pointed out that, in Europe, many local markets had already been brought together in order to try to best capitalise from ISO 20022, and that the standard is already used for T2S connectivity, and that it could be used for collecting information across various jurisdictions.

From an Australian point of view, Masina considered that they could approach cross-border standards eventually, but at the moment the priority is to hit the deadline.

While he accepted the benefit of engaging with other countries, he said that the process is only just starting, and “everybody is at a different level”. He then added, however, that a certain scale is required in order to feel the benefits of ISO 20022, and in terms of this, “the tipping point may have been reached already”.

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