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ANNA Highlights ISIN Developments and the Future of the ANNA Service Bureau and the IGI

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The Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA) is likely to be having a busy start to 2011: as well as providing its feedback on legal entity identification standards to the US Office of Financial Research at the end of January (OFR), the association has been working on a new version of ISO 6166, otherwise known as the ISIN; its own legal entity ID, the Issuer and Guarantor Identifier (IGI); and updating the ANNA Service Bureau (ASB) to meet current market demands. ANNA’s chairman Dan Kuhnel elaborated on the progress towards achieving these goals at the association’s last meeting in Peru at the end of last year, and highlighted the goals for this year.

In the vein of many of the other contenders to the identifier issuer throne, ANNA’s response to the OFR details its capabilities as an issuer of the IGI, along with the other national agencies in its network. “The National Numbering Agencies are the market experts for security numbering and identification,” states the association. To this end, it refers to the new draft ISO standard 16372, or IGI, which could be the basis for a legal entity ID.

The IGI is still very much a work in progress, however, as the IGI working group has only recently finished the draft version of the standard and it will be in the voting process until 15 April 2011. The focus of recent discussions within the group has been on whether to work in concert with network operator Swift in its own development of a legal entity ID: the Bank Identifier Code (BIC). It is likely therefore that much more clarity on this issue will emerge in the next month or so, as votes are cast on the subject.

In the area of instrument identification, ANNA has been working on a new version of the ISIN, which includes new allocation rules for structured products and loans and the addition of new data elements such as issue and issuer name. This work has progressed much further than the work around the IGI and is therefore in its final draft stage, pending amendments as a result of member feedback. It is also working on the registration authority service level agreement for the updated standard in order to formalise the relationships between ANNA and the national agencies.

ANNA is also working on two other new standards in conjunction with each other: ISO 18773 (which is related to abbreviations for financial instruments) and ISO 18774 (otherwise known as the Financial Instrument Short Name, or FISN). The abbreviation standard is aimed at doing what it says on the tin: standardising the industry’s use of instrument abbreviations, which will then be used in the FISN standard. The FISN standard is therefore aimed at uniquely naming a financial instrument by combining an abbreviated issuer name plus some descriptive information about the instrument, such as instrument type, maturity date and interest rate. This work has also progressed to the final draft stage, although it is uncertain as yet whether ANNA will be the registration authority for these new codes.

Furthermore, the association is working on updating the ASB in the background to all this standards development work. In order to achieve this, it has kicked off negotiations with the ASB’s current operators – SIX Telekurs and Standard & Poor’s – and issued a request for proposal to update the central numbering standards issuance hub in order to ensure it meets current markets requirements. This move is warranted, given the amount of change going on within the standards space and the potential entry of new players to the financial services space such as GS1 due to the intense regulatory focus on the area.

In other news, three additional national numbering agencies have also recently been accepted as new ANNA Partners: Comissão do Mercado de Capitais from Angola; Mongolian Securities Clearing House and Central Depository; and the Securities Board of Nepal.

The next meeting of ANNA will be in Toronto on 23 and 24 June.

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