To date the industry has already created a number of consolidated tapes, but the absence of any universal standard has stifled widespread acceptance or uptake," said Stuart Adams, FPL's regional director, EMEA.
FIX Protocol Limited, the standards body for securities messaging, has set out a proposal for the establishment of a governance body and the standards setting process that it says will be necessary to develop a European consolidated tape.
The proposal, submitted by FPL for consideration by the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), identifies that standards setting and governance are two key business processes that would be required for the establishment and effective delivery of a consolidated tape in the European markets.
According to the document submitted by FPL, its own professional staff would be engaged to support and drive the activities of the CTDA, however it notes that the proposed structure does not presume that FPL would be the body to run the consolidated tape.
FPL said strong governance would be needed by the CTDA to cope with potentially contentious issues arising from CESR's proposal, such as the tape being available "at a reasonable cost", "in as low latency a form as is reasonably possible" and that the "operator of the consolidated tape would be responsible for the detection of possible multiple publication".
While some data vendors have created consolidated tapes, a standardised, cost-effective solution has not yet materialised.
FIX Protocol Limited (FPL), the organisation responsible for the FIX financial messaging standard, claims it is well placed to undertake the technical implementation of a consolidated tape in Europe, but some observers still expect the final solution to be mandated by regulators.
We are looking to play a role in the European consolidated tape, but ultimately it will be up to our members to decide what this role will be.
To clearly define the challenge faced by for potential data consolidators like FIX, CESR has proposed a list of pre-conditions for producing a consolidated tape: the creation of approved publication arrangements (APAs), entities that are required to clean and validate data to enable easier consolidation; the availability of market data at a reasonable cost and on an unbundled basis; and the ability of a consolidated tape operator to make data available at low latency.