European CSDs set a timeline for ISO 20022

European CSDs set a timeline for ISO 20022

Today, 26 May 2023, ECSDA publishes its considerations on ISO messages for financial transactions and recommendations on their use. The basis for CSD engagement with local communities and relevant stakeholders and further preparations. The messages for General meetings should be solely in ISO 20022 as from 2026, and Corporate actions and market claims should only rely on ISO 20022 as from 2030.

The standardisation of messages has been a key enabler to improve the level of Straight Through Processing (STP) of (I)CSDs services over the past decades. The way (I)CSDs communicate with their participants is in constant evolution.
The main standard used today in the post-trade industry is ISO 15022, but in the last few years, the usage of a more sophisticated version of ISO standard, ISO 20022, has increased.
The evolution of the ISO standard has been driven by the following key factors:
i) Creation of market infrastructures (e.g., T2S),
ii) EU legislation requirements (e.g., SRDII),
iii) Modernisation of (I)CSDs’ own IT systems, and
iv) Definition of new market standards (e.g., SCoRE).

European CSDs aim at further increasing the standardisation and efficiency of post- and pre-trade processes. The emergence of the new ISO 20022 standard for messaging is in line with this objective. Although along with the benefits, it also brought challenges for (I) CSDs and their participants; a coexistence period between the existing formats (ISO 15022 and/or proprietary messages) and new formats (ISO 20022) is needed to ensure a smooth transition to a new message format.
The ECSDA Board agreed to set up a dedicated Messaging Task Force to assess the current state of use of the different messaging standards and plans related to the migration to ISO 20022, as well as provide recommendations on the way forward.

Besides some background information and the expected evolution of the ISO standards in the European CSDs community, this paper provides recommendations on:
– The rules to put in place to ensure a smooth transition during the co-existence of the two ISO standards;
– The timeline for the discontinuation of ISO 15022 for some business domains;
– The usage of ISO 20022 data dictionary as a way to structure the information beyond the message formats.

Please note that these are recommendations and ECSDA intends to discuss them with the relevant market stakeholders, where needed.
While this paper was in preparation, ISSA, and ECSDA have also been working together on a survey addressed to the key financial industry actors about ISO 20022. The conclusions of the present paper should not be in contradiction with the analysis of the joint ISSA – ECSDA survey.

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