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Thomson Reuters Embeds Tagging Technology to Improve Transparency of Benchmark Submissions

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Thomson Reuters has embedded tagging technology into its Enterprise Platform software with the aim of helping banks improve transparency and reporting around benchmark submissions and other contributed data. The development is a timely response to the issue flagged by the recent penalties imposed on banks for rigging of the key Libor benchmark.

The Thomson Reuters offering works by adding tags to information that is published to the platform and include details of the publisher and a timestamp. This information can then be analysed to spot any exceptional activity and the tags can be used to create an audit trail of publishing activity for compliance purposes.

The company started work on the solution about 18 months ago in response to banking customers’ concerns about benchmark-fixing investigations. It delivered an upgraded release of the Enterprise Platform software including embedded tagging capability last week and is close to production with a managed service following beta testing with a large bank.

The upgraded release of the Thomson Reuters Enterprise Platform allows users of the software to build apps using tags within their own compliance environments, perhaps capturing tagged data and analysing it in real time for exemption management, or integrating the data into existing audit and reporting tools.

The managed service has been developed by Thomson Reuters with Datawatch Panopticon and uses an analytics engine and reporting tools provided by Thomson Reuters and visualisation tools from Datawatch Panopticon. The service is browser based and initially includes tagging and analysis for submissions to the Sibor benchmark, although it will be extended to other benchmarks and rate fixings depending on customer demand.

Brennan Carley, global head of the Elektron platform at Thomson Reuters, notes that there is no explicit regulation around reporting benchmark submissions, but suggests banks will be in a better position if they improve transparency around such submissions and other contributed data.

He explains: “This capability gives compliance officers visibility of what is happening on the trading desk in real time. It also gives them a historic perspective and an audit trail so they can demonstrate what traders have done and how they are implementing their compliance policies. A knock-on from this is that traders know that compliance officers have visibility of what they are publishing, which could be an incentive for correct behaviour.”

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