About a-team Marketing Services
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry
The knowledge platform for the financial technology industry

A-Team Insight Blogs

Thomson Reuters’ Licensing of RIC Codes Under Scrutiny by European Commission

Subscribe to our newsletter

According to the word on the reference data street, the European Commission is in the process of investigating Thomson Reuters’ licensing policy for its Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs). The regulator last month sent out a questionnaire to continental European banks in order to garner more information about licensing fees and usage of these financial instrument identification codes, although the Commission has not yet confirmed the nature of the investigation.

Much like the Commission’s investigation of the Cusip Service Bureau’s International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs) for North American securities earlier this year, there is a distinct lack of clarity about exactly what it is trying to achieve. Moreover, the Commission has also not approached the vendor directly; it has instead sent these questionnaires to its customers (much like the process adopted during the Cusip Service Bureau investigation).

The regulator seems keen to break down what it views as these data providers’ market monopolies by ensuring that their codes for data are interoperable and non-proprietary. The RIC codes are used across the industry to identify equities, stock indices and commodity futures, including those outside of Thomson Reuters’ portfolio of products. The ticker like codes are therefore viewed as endemic to the industry: although Thomson Reuters does not sell RICs, the codes used are proprietary to the vendor and are embedded in the data that it sells to financial institutions.

Thomson Reuters may support other codes, but the Commission seems particularly concerned about its intellectual property rights with regards to RICs and whether the proprietary nature of these codes means clients are prevented from easily moving from one vendor to another. The fact that they become embedded into a customer’s infrastructure would seem to support this notion, according to some respondents to the questionnaire.

Given that the Commission has yet to publish a ruling concerning the Cusip Service Bureau investigation, the industry is likely to be in for another long wait before it can determine exactly what the regulator is up to. In the meantime, data vendors should be on the lookout for any signs of definitive action being taken.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related content

WEBINAR

Recorded Webinar: How to leverage data lineage for actionable business insights

Data lineage is a must-have for financial institutions, but is it being used to its greatest extent, and is it delivering actionable business insights that inform product development and support competitive advantage? This webinar will address these questions, looking first at the status quo of data lineage across capital markets, and moving on to discuss...

BLOG

A-Team Group Announces Winners of Data Management Insight Awards – USA 2023

A-Team Group has announced the winners of its Data Management Insight Awards – USA 2023. The awards recognise both established solution vendors and innovative newcomers providing leading data management solutions, services and consultancy to capital markets participants across the USA. The awards were presented by Andrew Delaney, president and chief content officer at A-Team Group,...

EVENT

ESG Data & Tech Summit London

The ESG Data & Tech Summit will explore challenges around assembling and evaluating ESG data for reporting and the impact of regulatory measures and industry collaboration on transparency and standardisation efforts. Expert speakers will address how the evolving market infrastructure is developing and the role of new technologies and alternative data in improving insight and filling data gaps.

GUIDE

Regulatory Data Handbook 2023 – Eleventh Edition

Welcome to the eleventh edition of A-Team Group’s Regulatory Data Handbook, a popular publication that covers new regulations in capital markets, tracks regulatory change, and provides advice on the data, data management and implementation requirements of more than 30 regulations across UK, European, US and Asia-Pacific capital markets. This edition of the handbook includes new...