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Funds processing rates reach new levels of automation

Funds processing rates reach new levels of automation

13 May 2016 | 4 min read

New report from EFAMA and SWIFT confirms growing industry automation rates reach 85.4% of fund orders in 2015

Brussels, 13 May 2016 – The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) today published in cooperation with SWIFT a new report on the evolution of automation and standardisation rates of fund orders received by transfer agents (TAs) in the cross-border fund centres of Luxembourg and Ireland in 2015.

The report is an on-going campaign by EFAMA and SWIFT to highlight the advancement of automation and standardisation rates of orders of cross-border funds. 29 TAs from Ireland and Luxembourg participated in this survey.

The report highlights include:

  • Total order volumes increased by 11% in 2015, bringing the total volume processed by the 29 survey participants to 34.1 million orders last year.
  • The total automation rate of processed orders of cross-border funds reached 85.4% in the last quarter of 2015, which represents an increase of 2.8 percentage points (p.p.) compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The use of ISO messaging standards rose by 1.8 p.p. to 51.2%, while the use of manual processes dropped to 14.6% (-2.8 p.p.) in the same time period.
  • The total automation rate of orders processed by Luxembourg TAs reached 82.9% in the last quarter of 2015 compared to 81.3% in the last quarter of 2014.  The ISO automation rate increased from 57.9% in Q4 2014 to 65% in Q4 2015, while the use of proprietary ftp decreased from 23.4% in Q4 2014 to 17.9% in Q4 2015.
  • The total automation rate of orders processed by Irish TAs increased to 89.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015, from 85.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The use of manual processes falls down to 10.3% in Q4 2015 compared to 14.4% in Q4 2014.

Peter De Proft, EFAMA Director General, notes: “The continuous progress towards ISO adoption and the impressive 15% drop in manual processing of funds orders confirm that the European investment funds industry continued to improve the efficiency of its back-office operations in 2015.  This is tangible proof of the industry’s commitment to reduce operational risks and to ensure ever-improving services for its clients.”
Fabian Vandenreydt, Global Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT, adds:
Back in 2009, when we launched the first EFAMA-SWIFT report, we, together as an industry, had established an objective to reach 80% of automated cross-border fund orders, which seemed realistic, yet ambitious.
Today, with more than 85% of cross-border funds orders automated, the ongoing progress of the transfer agent communities of Luxembourg and Ireland is a testament to the commitment of these markets to become more efficient for the benefit of its clients, and to alleviate the high costs and risks associated with manual processing.
Along with the substantial increase of funds order volumes (which progressed by 11% compared to 2014), it is also encouraging to note that, when TAs are setting up new links with new order givers, ISO adoption is, more than ever, the first choice.
With EFAMA’s recommendation of a single ISO standard to be used in the funds industry, we are clearly moving in the right direction, and now is the opportunity to focus on the potential next buckets of automation, namely for transfers and account openings, where we see the biggest potential for standardisation.

* Please click here to download a full copy of the joint EFAMA/SWIFT standardisation mid 2015 report.

For further information, please contact:

Peter De Proft

Director General


+32-2-513 39 69 


Bernard Delbecque

Director of Economics and Research


+32-2-513 39 69


Valérie Letellier     
Senior Market Manager
+32-2-655 39 44

About the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)
EFAMA is the representative association for the European investment management industry. EFAMA represents through its 26 member associations and 61 corporate members about EUR 21 trillion in assets under management of which EUR 12.6 trillion managed by 56,000 investment funds at end 2015. Just over 30,000 of these funds were UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) funds, with the remaining 25,900 composed of AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds). For more information about EFAMA, please visit

SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides the communications platform, products and services to connect more than 10,500 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 215 countries and territories. SWIFT enables its users to exchange automated, standardised financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating operational inefficiencies. SWIFT also brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest.

For more information about SWIFT, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @swiftcommunity and LinkedIn: SWIFT