Corporate actions survey reflects a positive trend in favour of automation and standardisation

SWIFT and CityIQ announce the results of joint survey with149 market participants worldwide about the state of play in the corporate actions marketplace. The survey also measures the evolution of automation and standardisation in this critical domain for financial institutions.

The results of the 2015 survey show a very positive trend from increased volumes and market activity to the automation and standardisation of key corporate actions processes. Investment in automation tools have grown since the last survey, which was done in 2012. Activity levels are twice what they were three years ago with 63% of respondents reporting that they are busy with projects and an additional 9% of respondents having automation plans in the next year. Cost reduction remains a strong driver for automation, but investments to cope with volume growth, improve scalability of operations and meet client demands have also been highlighted as leading drivers amongst survey participants.

Regarding standards, ISO messaging standards are widely seen as adding value – although the debate about the relative value of ISO 15022 and ISO 20022 continues. Nearly 90% of survey participants also cited compliance with global market practices as an important factor enabling corporate actions processing. As in 2012, SWIFT, ISO and the SMPG (Securities Market Practice Group) remain rated as the three most trusted organisations to support better data quality and straight-through processing (STP).

“The survey results are very compelling,” says Oliver Connan, Market Manager Asset Servicing, SWIFT. “It is clear that the quality of corporate actions data continues to challenge the industry, but it is also clear that automation and standardisation can ease much of this burden. At SWIFT we support this trend and are pleased to see the continued interest and investment from the community to continually improve the corporate actions process.”

In addition to embracing more automation, standards and market practice guidelines, survey participants identified Central Securities Depositories as the most reliable and highest quality sources for corporate actions data. This is a new data point compared 2012.

“The response to the survey was excellent, the large number of responses allowing us to compare what has been happening in the market region by region” Commented Paul Wiltshire; Director at CityIQ. “Although there are some quite marked regional differences – it’s clear that wherever you look organisations have been investing time and money in corporate actions processing and this is a trend that looks set to continue”

To download the full survey paper, visit swift.com/corporateactions or www.cityiq.com