FIs Call for Collaborative Action on Missing Reference Data Standards

The Third Annual Reference Data Management for the Banking Industry conference has revealed major gaps in the industry’s ability to meet the tsunami of regulatory requirements.

Officials from the European Central Bank (ECB), Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), JWG, the regulatory think-tank, and over 20 bankers discussed reference data challenges and explored the industry’s path forward.

The gathering of over 30 professionals concluded:

  • Rising operational complexity and the regulatory tsunami have changed the game for the back office.
  • All firms are challenged to meet the new information standards.
  • Collective action is required from the industry to establish these standards and regulatory support is called for to make them effective.
  • Reference data standards, as well as regulations to support them, should be established in a collaborative effort between the industry and the authorities.
  • The approach employed to develop the wholesale customer data standards should be leveraged to produce more guidance.

Julia Sutton, director of global reference data at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Capital Markets, said: “This was a real call to arms. It was clear that current data infrastructures across the industry’s information supply chain are not designed for the new regulatory requirements. We’ve been talking about this long enough. We need the right people to set the benchmarks and time is of the essence.”

Francis Gross, head of external statistics for the ECB, said: “It was great to see industry thought leaders from across the globe engage in a constructive discussion on reference data standardisation in which they also reflected on issues of practical implementation. The discussion showed that the regulators, central banks and industry all need a single, shared reference data infrastructure. We all realised, in the light of recent developments, that the subject is now gaining a lot of positive attention far beyond the data community.”


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