The first ever automated account transfer and fund re-registrations went live over SWIFT at the beginning of December, when fund platforms Fidelity and Ascentric used the Altus Transfer Gateway to process live transfers with three IFDS fund manager clients using the open and interoperable ISO20022 standard.
"This industry initiative – which highlights the richness of the ISO 20022 standard – is an important step towards ensuring the long term health of the UK retail investment services marketplace. These first live Altus ISO20022 re-registrations bring key members of the SWIFT community together and demonstrate that the industry now has a viable solution in line with TISA Exchange Limited (TEX) recommendations for automated transfers and re-registration.”
Edward Glyn, Director - Funds, EMEA at SWIFT
This market leading initiative comes ahead of the deadline for the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) regulation, through which the UK's Financial Services Authority has mandated that from the first of January 2013, any organisation holding funds on behalf of a customer must be able to re-register those assets to another provider in a timely manner.
Edward Glyn, Director - Funds, EMEA at SWIFT commented: "This industry initiative - which highlights the richness of the ISO 20022 standard - is an important step towards ensuring the long term health of the UK retail investment services marketplace. These first live ISO20022 re-registrations bring key members of the SWIFT community together and demonstrate that the industry now has a viable solution in line with the TISA (Tax Incentivised Savings Association) recommendations for automated transfers and re-registration."
This first transfer is seen as only the beginning, as a second wave of participants is preparing to join the live running in the coming few weeks.
Ben Cocks, Director at Altus said: "After many months of industry debate and preparation it's great to see automated re-registration finally up and running and benefitting the customer with vastly improved transfer times. Hats off to all the participating providers who had the foresight to implement this well ahead of the RDR deadline."
The development is welcomed by the industry. Ed Dymott, Head of Business Development at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, said: "We are extremely pleased to be at the point where automated re-registration now becomes reality, having been a part of the initial group working with Altus. We understand how important this is for the platform industry and we are encouraged to see how well a number of firms have collaborated to provide a solution."
Hugo Thorman, Managing Director at Ascentric commented: "This is an important development that not only delivers a level playing field for platforms, but also supports the provision of an enhanced service to advisers and their clients. We are pleased to have played our part in supporting such a key milestone in the evolution of the platform market."