For Immediate Release Friday, August 1, 2003

For More Information, Please Contact: Louise Marshall, (212) 901-6000;


ISDA 2003 Operations Benchmarking Survey:

Industry Achieves Confirmation Processing Goals for Core Products,

Maintains Focus on Improvements


NEW YORK, Friday, August 1, 2003 – The International Swaps and Derivatives Association today published the ISDA 2003 Operations Benchmarking Survey. Based on responses from 64 institutions, the Survey demonstrates the industry is increasingly setting and meeting targets on confirmation processing.


The 2003 Survey reports that, during calendar year 2002, participating firms met their objective of producing confirmations by five days after trade date (T+5) for forward rate agreements (FRAs), vanilla swaps and commodity derivatives. Confirmation dispatch times for less standardized products such as credit and equity derivatives also improved last year. Responses show that 83 percent of credit derivative and 84 percent of equity derivative confirmations are sent out in the T+5 target time.


“The derivatives industry continues to improve its operational processing performance and to set and meet more stringent goals,” said Robert Pickel, ISDA’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.  “The industry is focused on tightening up these processes and we are pleased that ISDA is able to serve as a forum to improve operational standards. This Survey informs and complements that work and plays an important role in setting the agenda for continuing progress.”


Responses to the Survey demonstrate a general decrease in confirmations outstanding -- that is, confirmations sent but not yet completed -- across product areas. The most significant decrease has been in outstanding equity derivative confirmations among all sizes of responding firms. Also, approximately 90 percent of large firms report they have a formal escalation procedure in place to deal with outstanding confirmations, while 55 percent of all firms reporting such procedures apply risk weighting to prioritize these.


The Survey results also show that automation, including use of Financial products Markup Language (FpML), continued to increase steadily. While FRAs and currency options show the highest overall degree of current automation, with 22 percent of respondents auto-matching at least 50 percent of their confirmations, plans for automating credit derivative processes are among institutions’ priorities. Results show that 47 percent of respondents plan to increase automation of credit derivative matching capabilities in 2003. Plans to enhance automation of plain vanilla swaps focus on the transfer of trade data from the operations system to the general ledger, sending of confirmations, and matching of confirmation details.



ISDA’s annual Operations Benchmarking Survey, initiated in 2000, identifies and tracks operations processing trends in the privately negotiated derivatives industry. The results provide individual firms with a benchmark against which to measure the promptness and accuracy of their trade data capture, confirmation procedures, and settlement. As in past years, individual respondents receive a feedback report that compares their data with those of respondents of similar size and with those of the entire respondent population.  The entire survey can be accessed in the Latest News section of ISDA’s web site at


ISDA is the global trade association representing leading participants in the privately negotiated derivatives industry. ISDA was chartered in 1985, and today has more than 600 member institutions from 46 countries on six continents. These members include most of the world's major institutions that deal in privately negotiated derivatives, as well as many of the businesses, governmental entities and other end users that rely on over-the-counter derivatives to manage efficiently the financial market risks inherent in their core economic activities. Information about ISDA and its activities is available on the Association's web site: 


®ISDA is a registered trademark of the International Swaps & Derivatives Association, Inc.