In the early nineties, investment managers and banks quickly realised that in order to capitalise on new and improved technologies it was essential to eliminate the need for manual processing, by adopting a universal message format to provide all organisations with the ability to establish efficient links with their counterparties in the industry.
In November 1991, a group of 25 investment managers and custodian banks gathered to discuss the possibilities of developing or adopting a standard automated method for communicating trade instructions between them. The group became known as the Industry Standardisation for Institutional Trade Communication Committee or ISITC and in January 1992 ISITC Europe was formed as an independent not-for-profit trade organisation, mainly run by volunteers from cross industry participants. Along with its sister organisation ISITC in the US, ISITC Europe shares common themes and best practice across members of both of organisations thus creating focus and harmony to achieve objectives.
With the successful development of standards for post settlement/clearance and asset servicing during the early 2000s, ISITC Europe expanded its collaboration with other industry associations to provide end to end coverage. These included S.W.I.F.T., FPL, ISDA (FpML), FISD, Omgeo and TWIST.
From the outset ISITC Europe has focussed on common industry issues, such as; common securities and counterparty identification, Electronic Trade Confirmation and Matching, Claims and Penalties processing and IT changes. More recently, ISITC Europe has expanded the scope of its activities to cover all areas of operational efficiency to become one of the few cross industry bodies to establish a common industry issues policy and the only body that has a long history covering all the major changes in technology and regulation.
In 2019, with a heavy focus from Regulators, KYC/Onboarding and the ongoing Financial Crime regulations, it became clear that ISITC Europe needed to establish the organisation, as a corporate. The necessity to operate successfully in the modern world required a shift from an industry association. This required a change in the organisational and membership structure, as well as a drive for additional members and the establishment of a new by invitation only Advisory Board representing buy and sell side organisations. Thus, in late 2019 ISITC EUROPE was registered as a Community Interest Company.
(A Community Interest Company, it is a type of organisation set up in the UK from 2005 under the Companies, Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise act 2004. It was created for social enterprises/associations who want to use their profits and assets for public good)
This type of company fits very well with ISITC EUROPE CIC, which will continue to operate as a not for profit organisation, serving the financial services community.
The new membership structure includes Banks, Brokerages, Exchanges, Asset Managers, Custodians, Registrars as full members, with associate status for; Legal, Accounting, Professional Services/Consultancy Organisations, Information Service Providers, Technology Providers, Corporate Treasuries, Corporate Issuers and Regulators.
ISITC EUROPE CIC will make strident efforts to build firm foundations with Academia, with a new educational thrust to incorporate members from Universities and Colleges whose students are interested in, and need educating about, the Financial Services Sector to assist in creating long term benefits for the finance industry as a whole