Ever since Euroclear UK & Ireland's CREST was inaugurated, Trace Financial has been helping brokers, asset managers, custodians, clearers and settlement banks to integrate successfully with the service.
Supporting all CREST transaction types, the CREST Bridge meets the needs of registrars and transfer agents as well as regular stock-holding members.
The success story continues today. Since Euroclear UK & Ireland launched CREST Funds Settlement, both 'provider' and 'distributor' side companies have selected the CREST Bridge to meet their integration needs.
The CREST Bridge is much more than a technical interface to CREST. It provides the business operations team with everything needed to ensure that transactions are reliably settled at CREST day after day.
Inputting transactions is simple, either by setting up message flows from back office systems, using any convenient format, or by using the CREST Bridge’s intuitive browser-based GUI. Monitoring transactions through to settlement is handled automatically by the CREST Bridge.
Status changes can be notified to back office systems in full ‘granular’ detail, or only on selected key events. Alerts identify potential settlement problems to users, who can use the CREST Bridge’s full range of transaction browse and detail functions to identify any problems.
Priority changes, freeze/unfreeze, deletion, and splits can also be input manually into the CREST Bridge where needed, to resolve settlement problems quickly.
The CREST Bridge handles all kinds of special cases with ease: alleged transactions or deletions, third party and centrally generated transactions, splitting and partialling, and more.
The relevant users are alerted to any situations they may need to investigate. Its flexible business logic ensures that it responds in the right way to each CREST transaction type, in every situation. In this way the CREST Bridge fully supports Straight Through Processing (STP), requiring no human intervention in normal daily use.
Stock and cash balance and posting data is obtained automatically and forwarded to reconciliation systems, using the most convenient format for the receiving system.
Ease of integration
For a new entrant to CREST, working with the unique ‘DEX’ message formats and flows can be a daunting prospect. The CREST Bridge removes these issues completely.
Back office systems use the simple, straightforward message schema provided by Trace Financial, in any convenient format (XML, CSV, etc). Back office message flows are intuitive and work on a ‘push protocol’ basis - in other words, the back office is advised of status changes when they happen, without having to repeatedly send queries to CREST. To summarise:
- simplified format for the back office, available in a range of formats (XML, CSV, fixed position, etc)
- simplified 'push protocol' message flow for the back office - no need for regular queries to obtain updates
- automatic status change monitoring for CREST settlement transactions
- automated handling of centrally generated transactions
- configurable notification to back office system(s) - of just the changes they need to know about
- email alerts immediately bring any problems to the attention of Operations staff
- full support for static data and account reconciliation messaging / report files
Connectivity and message-handling
The following features are available at the connectivity/transport level :
- resilient connection with either SWIFT or BT Gateway
- where SWIFT is used as backup to BT or vice versa, the CREST Bridge is able to switch quickly between them in a disaster recovery situation, using a separate set of CREST Operators to ensure the integrity of their file-streams
- fully automated session management
- ability to auto-schedule all regular CREST queries including Dynamic File Changes, and process the responses automatically
- configurable message routing to multiple transaction-processing and ancillary systems
The CREST Bridge features a highly configurable GUI supporting both transaction and message-level monitoring and reporting requirements:
- web browser based deployment
- business-focussed transaction browse/detail screens - ideal for settlement tracking
- colour-coding of browse rows to highlight items needing attention
- user-defined filters to select and sort data as needed
- simple navigation from business transactions to their related messages
For firms requiring manual transaction functions as a supplement to the back-office interface, the CREST Bridge also offers fully featured screens to support complete transaction input and management (including amend, split, freeze/unfreeze, and delete).
In summary, the CREST Bridge is a reliable, scalable solution, offering straightforward back-office integration and the ability to meet the specific needs of each client's business.