UK Finance publishes industry user guidance on ESMA's FIRDS

Members of the UK Finance Transaction Reporting Working Group share best practice on transaction-related reporting obligations and challenges. Harnessing that insight from members, UK Finance has created guidance on how to use the financial instruments reference data system (FIRDS) run by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

FIRDS was established to create better transparency within financial markets. Data from trading venues and national regulators (NCAs) is made available on FIRDS. FIRDS is then used as one of many sources of reference data to determine whether transactions executed in financial instruments across Europe are reportable to regulatory authorities.

FIRDS has succeeded in presenting data in a harmonised way. The system can, however, be challenging to navigate as the search functionality is less intuitive than it could be. This guidance serves to optimise the FIRDS user experience and provides examples on how to search and verify legal entity identifiers (L.E.Is), maturity dates and ISINs and how to avoid common pitfalls. The guidance aims to support our members in their trade reporting activities.

Because of Brexit, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is developing its own FIRDS which is currently in testing phase. Whilst the logic underpinning transaction reporting will not change in the UK, reporting obligations will. With certain exceptions, UK trading venues will report transactions carried out on their venue by EEA members. We continue to monitor the complexity Brexit brings to market infrastructure and guide our members through both our focused working groups and our overarching EU Withdrawal Steering Committee.

If you require more information on our work and outputs, please let Yvonne Deane know.

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