SWIFT Calls for Greater Automation by Improving FX Standards

The company believes the industry needs to overcome certain obstacles in order to operate more efficiently.

SWIFT has published a report this Wednesday which urges the foreign exchange (forex) industry to collaborate on increasing the automation levels in the global FX markets, through better standards.

The report named “The value of standards in the FX markets” urges market participants to identify the bottlenecks of the industry as well as inefficiencies and manual processes which can be removed and replaced with automation.

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SWIFT believes this can be achieved by greater harmonization through standards. Although the Belgium-headquartered company does outline that existing messaging standards work well for the FX industry now, it would be a mistake for the sector become complacent.

“The scope to lift operational, commercial and financial performance further and higher, through more and better use of standards, remains immense. A series of mandatory steps taken by SWIFT Standards Releases have proved it is possible for FX market participants to capture an ever-growing proportion of that potential value. None of the obstacles to capturing all of it is insuperable.”

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Some of the obstacles that SWIFT highlights in the report include confirming trades by email, fax, and telephone, with the company stating that the large scale of the global forex market can’t operate without high levels of automation.

“Further standards evolution will be required to keep pace with the commercial, operational and regulatory changes affecting the global FX market to ensure continued efficient operation,” the report states.

SWIFT is “Leading Industry Efforts” for FX Automation

Juliette Kennel of SWIFT
Juliette Kennel, Head of Securities and FX Markets at SWIFT
Source: LinkedIn

Commenting on the report, Juliette Kennel, Head of Securities and FX Markets, SWIFT, said: “While there is a high level of automation in FX markets already, the industry cannot be complacent and must work together to remove the remaining barriers to efficient exchange.”

“Increased levels of automation through more use of and better use of standards will unlock higher operational, commercial and financial performance for all participants in the global FX market.”

“SWIFT is adapting standards used in FX, in conjunction with industry, to lower the cost of doing business, increase returns on investment and reduce the levels of risk involved, but there is more to do. Industry must collaborate further to enhance standards by identifying the operational bottlenecks and barriers to great efficiency for all.”

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