Last updated: 12:06 / Monday, 5 May 2014
EFAMA and SWIFT survey

Steady Rise in Standardization of Cross-Border Funds Processing in 2013

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Steady Rise in Standardization of Cross-Border Funds Processing in 2013
  • Total automation rates reached 78.7% at the end of 2013, compared to 77.7% a year earlier
  • Shows the industry’s commitment to move away from manual processes towards more efficient practices

The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), in collaboration with SWIFT, has published a new report on the evolution of the automation and standardisation rates of fund orders received by transfer agents (TAs) in the cross-border fund centres of Luxembourg and Ireland in 2013. This report, entitled “Fund Processing Standardization”, underscores the industry’s commitment to move away from manual processes towards more efficient automation and standardization practices.   

The report is part of an ongoing campaign by EFAMA and SWIFT to highlight the progress and importance of automation and standardisation rates of cross-border funds orders. 31 TAs in Ireland and Luxembourg participated in the survey, cumulatively representing more than 80 percent of the total incoming third-party investment fund order volumes in both markets.

The report highlights are as follows:

* Total order volumes increased by 21% in 2013, bringing the total volume processed by the 31 survey participants to 29.5 million orders last year.

* Total automation rates reached 78.7% at the end of 2013, compared to 77.7% a year earlier. This trend was driven by an increase in the use of ISO messaging standards (+1.5 percentage points in 2013 to 45.3%), and a fall in the use of manual order processing and proprietary File Transfer Protocol (FTP) formats, which totalled 21.3% and 33.4% in Q4 2013, respectively.

* The total automation rate in Luxembourg increased to75.3% in Q4 2013 (+1.6 percentage points compared to Q4 2012), mainly reflecting a rise in the use of ISO standards, which gained +1.2 percentage points to stand at 57.7%. 

* The total automation rate in Ireland rose to 85.6% in Q4 2013 (+0.3 percentage point compared to Q4 2012), thanks to a rise in the use of ISO standards (+1.6 percentage point to 20.9%).

Peter De Proft, Director General of EFAMA, noted: “Five years ago, at the time of the release of the first EFAMA-SWIFT report, we set an 80% target for the automation rate of orders of cross-border funds.  The Transfer Agent communities of Luxembourg and Ireland have never been so close to reaching this goal.  The achievement, and the regular monitoring of the progress made in this area, highlights the fund industry’s commitment to become more efficient to the benefit of its clients.”

Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Markets Management, Innotribe and SWIFT Institute, added: “We applaud the continuous progress towards ISO adoption along with the substantial increase in funds order volumes.  Together with EFAMA, we are making great strides to alleviate the high costs and inefficiencies associated with manual processing by supporting programmes that foster automation and standardisation for the funds industry. And it is clearly moving forward in the right direction, which is very encouraging.”  

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