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Brussels, for immediate release     

Industry automation rates for cross-border fund orders reached 89.4%

New report from EFAMA and SWIFT highlights the evolution of automation and standardisation rates of fund orders during the first half of 2018

Brussels, 29 November 2018 – The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), in cooperation with SWIFT, published a new report about the evolution of automation and standardisation rates of fund orders received by transfer agents (TAs) in the cross-border fund distribution centres of Luxembourg and Ireland during the first half of 2018.

The Mid-year report, which had twenty-eight TAs from Ireland and Luxembourg participating in the survey, combines the Luxembourg and Ireland data into one single cross-border fund processing report, providing statistical evidence on the advancement of automation and standardisation rates of cross-border fund orders. This report also provides data on standardisation levels of fund orders in Italy.

Report highlights include:

• The total order volume of cross-border funds increased by 5.4% to 20.3 million orders in the first half of 2018, from 19.3 million orders in the second half of 2017.
• The manual processing rate of orders of cross-border funds fell to 10.6% in Q2 2018 from 12% in Q4 2017. Whilst the use of ISO messaging standards decreased slightly from 55.5% in Q4 2017 to 54.7% in Q2 2018, the use of proprietary file transfer protocols (ftp) increased to 34.7% in Q2 2018 from 32.5% in Q4 2017.

• The share of manually processed orders by Luxembourg TAs declined from 14.6% in Q4 2017 to 13% in Q2 2018.  The ISO automation rate remains stable at 69.6% in Q2 2018, while the use of proprietary ftp increased to 17.4% compared to 15.6% in Q4 2017.

• The total automation rate of orders processed by Irish TAs reached 93% in Q2 2018, compared to 92.1% in Q4 2017. The use of proprietary ftp went up to 60.9% in Q2 2018 compared to 59.6% in Q4 2017, whereas the ISO adoption rate slightly decreased to 32.1% in Q2 2018, from 32.5% in Q4 2017.

Peter De Proft, EFAMA Director General, notes: “The success of both UCITS and AIFs reflects the investors’ interest in these products and the ability of fund managers to improve their competitiveness, notably by eliminating manual processes, which are costly and subject to operational risks. Looking forward, the European Commission’s ambition to tackle remaining barriers to the cross-border distribution of funds will contribute to further support investor demand and will make fund processing standardization even more important.”

Janice E.Chapman, Manager, Investment Funds, Standards, SWIFT, adds: “It is pleasing, yet again, to see the growth in the volumes of automated cross-border order flows. It is also pleasing to see the volumes of funds transfers also increasing significantly. More and more parts of the funds business is adopting an automated approach with ISO 20022 message standards and with the advent of an enhanced ISO 20222 funds reference report message in 2019, this will, indeed, complement this continued growth.”

– Ends –

The report can also be downloaded here.

For further information, please contact:
Peter De Proft, Director General
Bernard Delbecque, Senior Director, Economics and Research
+32-2-513 39 69    

Janice E. Chapman     
Manager, Investment Funds
+32-2-655 33 90 
cc: swift@finsbury.com

Notes to editors:
About the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA)

EFAMA is the representative association for the European investment management industry, which represents 28-member associations and 62 corporate members. At end 2017, total net assets of European investment funds reached EUR 15.6 trillion. Close to 32,000 of these funds were UCITS (Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities) and close to 28,300 of these funds were AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds). Including discretionary mandates, third-party regulated asset managers managed EUR 25 trillion in Europe at end 2017.  For more information about EFAMA, please visit www.efama.org.


SWIFT is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance.

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While SWIFT does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world.

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. SWIFT also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern.

Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.

For more information, visit www.swift.com or follow us on Twitter: @swiftcommunity and LinkedIn: SWIFT.