On 12-15 October 2015, National Settlement Depository (NSD), Russia’s central securities depository, took part in SIBOS 2015, an international conference organized by SWIFT. This is the world’s premier financial services event, bringing together a record number of delegates. This year, more than 8,000 guests attended the forum; among these were heads of and experts from financial companies and banks, representatives of regulators and infrastructure, multinational corporations and technology companies. The forum serves as an opportunity for representatives of the professional community to discuss the future of settlement infrastructure and payment platforms, the securities sector and cash management, to consider important issues regarding regulating and implementing standards, to know more about innovations and technological developments.
In 2015, more than 100 sessions were held at SIBOS, as well as a large number of events and meetings. Key discussion issues included: technology and innovation development in the financial sector, standardization of interactions between financial market participants, including implementation of the ISO 20022 standard, regional economic integration (ASEAN) and legal environment harmonization, as well as financial market regulation and compliance.
Traditionally, an exhibition is held during the conference; leading international financial and technology companies take part in it. In 2015, more than 200 companies presented their stands at the exhibition.
NSD has been a regular participant at SIBOS during the last 7 years, and 2015 was no exception. The forum’s delegates had an opportunity to see recent achievements in the Russian financial infrastructure, stock market and regulation at the NSD’s stand.
Russia’s central securities depository actively participated in the event’s program. Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the Executive Board, Maria Ivanova, Vice President, Director for Development and Client Relations, and Sergey Putyatinskiy, Chief Information Officer, presented their reports to the audience.
Mr. Astanin took part in the session devoted to the new situation on Russia’s financial market (Russian Financial Market: New Normal). Participants discussed strategic issues related to financial market and infrastructure development, risk management, trade financing, payment systems and the prospects for interactions between Russian and Asian countries. Mr. Astanin pointed out that the Asian development direction was not an immediate reaction to the changed external situation, but rather was a long-term strategy. The increasing trade turnover between Russia and Asia and the amount of direct investments has stimulated preparation of the financial infrastruсture for portfolio investments, which will facilitate Russian and Asian investors’ access to financial markets and reduce their expenses.
Discussion participants included: Elena Chaikovskaya, Director of Financial Markets Development Department, Bank of Russia, Oleg Perestenko, Deputy Head of National Payment System Department, Bank of Russia, Alain Raes, Chief Executive, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, SWIFT, Dmitry Minaev, Managing Director, Alfa Bank, and Michael Hammond, Chief Executive Officer, GPB Financial Services Hong Kong. The session was chaired by Dominic Hobson, the founder of COOConnect.
Maria Ivanova took part in the panel discussion on the future of central securities depositories. Discussion participants came to the following conclusion: to remain competitive, CSDs should develop services contributing to improved market liquidity (collateral management) and the use of client assets, to increase the level of collaboration with other CSDs to enhance automation and technological development and to follow regulatory changes and innovations.
Ms. Ivanova’s presentation was devoted to corporate actions reform within the Russian market (Corporate Actions Reform: Challenges and Advantages). She spoke about how Russia had passed measures to make the Russian market more attractive for foreign players: adopting laws related to the reform, and implementing the EDI and new voting technologies (e-proxy voting / e-voting). Ms. Ivanova summed up the first results of AGMs held by issuers using the ISO 20022 international standards.
ISO 20022 implementation was one of the debate themes at the forum. NSD, as one of the pioneers implementing the new format in the market practice, widely uses it in its projects. Sergey Putyatinskiy spoke about technical aspects of implementing the international format at a session devoted to ISO 20022 advantages (The Top Five Benefits of ISO 20022: a 360 Degree View). He emphasized that this standard was convenient and could become a driver for industry automation; he also pointed out that despite the fact that the ISO’s convenience and innovativeness were widely recognized, standard implementation was still at an early stage. That is why communication between infrastructures which, as NSD, were pioneers of the new format, was very important in this phase for further sector use.
Mr. Putyatinskiy also took part in the discussion of automating corporate actions (Asset Servicing: Issuer to Investor Automation). This is an issue of great importance for the industry. Mr. Putyatinskiy described NSD’s experience in conducting corporate actions reform. The delegates discussed problems associated with the simultaneous use of ISO 15022 and ISO 20022 and the need for a quicker transition to the more modern and flexible ISO 20022.
During SIBOS 2015, NSD delegates took part in more than 30 meetings with representatives of international settlement and clearing organizations, CSDs, custodians and banks, technology companies and payment systems.
SIBOS 2016, the next conference, will be held 26-29 September in Geneva. See you at SIBOS!