Funds processing automation rates reach new heights

The European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), in collaboration with SWIFT, has published a new report on the evolution of automation and standardisation rates of fund orders received by transfer agents (TAs) in the cross-border fund centres of Luxembourg and Ireland in 2017.  The report is an on-going campaign by EFAMA and SWIFT to highlight the progress  of automation and standardisation rates of cross-border fund orders. Twenty-nine TAs from Ireland and Luxembourg participated in this survey.

The key findings of the report include:

  • The total volume of orders processed by the 29 survey participants reached 38.8 million last year.


  • The total automation rate of processed orders of cross-border funds reached 88% in the last quarter of 2017, which represents an increase of 1.3 percentage points (p.p.) compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. The use of ISO messaging standards rose by 2.1 p.p. to 55.5%, while the use of manual processes dropped to 12% (-1.3 p.p.) in the same time period.

  • The total automation rate of orders processed by Luxembourg TAs reached 85.4% in the last quarter of 2017 compared to 84.4% in the last quarter of 2016. The ISO automation rate increased from 68.3% in Q4 2016 to 69.8% in Q4 2017, while the use of proprietary ftp decreased from 16.1% in Q4 2016 to 15.6% in Q4 2017.

  • The total automation rate of orders processed by Irish TAs increased to 92.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017, from 90.6% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The ISO automation rate increased by 4.7 p.p. to 32.5%, whereas the adoption of proprietary formats decreased from 62.8% in Q4 2016 to 59.6% in Q4 2017.


Peter De Proft, Director General of EFAMA, notes: “The increase in the automation rate of orders of cross-border funds from 75.4% in 2010 to 88% in 2017 highlights the sustained efforts made by fund managers to increase the efficiency of their operations.  The use of automation contributes to strengthening the competitiveness of UCITS and its attractiveness to investors, both globally and locally”. 


Janice E.Chapman, Manager, Investment Funds, Standards, SWIFT, adds:

Today, more than 88% of cross-border funds orders are automated.  In addition to the continuous growth of funds order volumes, it is exciting to see that the automation rates of supporting processes, such as price reporting, cash forecast reporting and funds transfers, are also on the rise.  This reconfims the industry trend towards automation using ISO 20022”.