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Important Milestone for T2S

Important Milestone for T2S

6 April 2015

First Market Infrastructure Live with ISO 20022 Messages.

The CSD of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB-SSS) is the first market infrastructure to send and receive T2S-compatible ISO 20022 messages, in a live environment, with its participant clients.

As part of a major migration, the first live security settlement message (sese.024.001.03) was sent on 31 January, between NBB-SSS and BNP Paribas.

As the industry prepares for T2S, the ability for participants to do early shake-out testing with T2S messages has become important.

The planning for the major T2S milestone began in 2007. As a participant in the message standardisation group, NBB-SSS has played an active role in the technical design of T2S, since the start.

NBB-SSS Timeline
2009-2010 - kickoff and feasibility analysis
2011-2012 - design, implementation and internal test
2013-2014 - external testing with its Participants
January 2015 - live traffic with Participants clients
March 2016 - NBB live with T2S Wave 2

In 2010, NBB-SSS began the implementation of its new CSD platform, ‘Ramses', designed to support securities settlement, reporting, custody and corporate actions processing. Key design aims were to ensure T2S compatibility and allow participants to choose which ISO standard they use, whilst ensuring that Ramses, internally, would work solely with T2S-variant ISO 20022 message formats.

By reusing the in-depth knowledge acquired during the T2S design, NBB-SSS ensured that Ramses' operational workflows and message structures were all redesigned to align with T2S, that its internal systems were upgraded to ensure seamless integration of ISO 20022-based data within the bank, and all existing legacy-specific coding was removed. The result is that Ramses has the ability to translate incoming ISO 15022 messages into ISO 20022, translate all outgoing ISO 20022 messages into ISO 15022, and generate either ISO 15022 or ISO 20022 messages from the Ramses web interface used by clients and internal staff.

As a result, 30% of NBB-SSS’ message exchange with their participants is now in ISO 20022.

The benefit of this on-the-fly translation, or ‘shielding', capability is that it gives clients the choice of when they migrate to the new standard. In addition, as this choice can be done by ‘message family', clients can migrate progressively, function by function, and manage their implementation according to their time and/or bandwidth constraints.

NBB-SSS selected SWIFT as its network provider for exchanging ISO 20022 messages with T2S, and is expected to go live with Wave 2 in 2016.

"The NBB-SSS wants to promote the formal standards that T2S has put in place, and going forward, we intend to maintain this lock-step alignment for our clients," says Marc Lejoly, Head of NBB-SSS division. "We believe this is the best way to foster market harmonisation in the post-trade space."

"Market reaction has been very positive," Marc adds. "Some of the Directly Connected Participants (DCPs) have taken the decision to develop their T2S capability in advance, by connecting and testing ISO 20022 messages with NBB-SSS."